Osamu Yokonami is a Japanese artist and photographer based in Tokyo who devotes his lenses to the development of photographs contemplating homogeneity. His group portraitures are regarded for invoking notions about identity, the collective, naturality, and youth.
I first became acquainted with Yokonami’s works at De Soto Gallery’s exhibition at the 2015 PULSE Art Fair in New York. His “Assembly” series was on display that day, and it most piqued my interest out of the swarms of art set out for many an art viewer’s purveyance. I ended up finding myself walking back to that booth section multiple times that Saturday afternoon, and since then, I’ve been following Yokonami’s activities for nearly two years now (that’s what good art does to you peeps).
I find pleasure in the idyllic qualities and the strange calm surrounding the odd symmetries of his photographs- unsettling, a little disconcerting, and also very beautiful.
I don’t really know what exactly I feel when I see his photographs, it doesn’t remove me and it doesn’t forcefully push me to a place where I’m aggressively thinking about an issue, a topic, or a stance.
Yokonami invites us to dwell on the journey for truth rather than the desination, I think. Or that’s what I feel.
The closest description I could put in regards to Yokonami’s effect on me is that his works put me in a deliberate state of an “in between” (As I see it, my mind occupies at this moment of seeing a super charged space with elements ie. high stimulation + calm + little sparkly little things firing everywhere in harmonious and purposeful direction, but I can’t really determine the end of where they’re going (not sure there’s supposed to be one, or if that’s the even the point/goal)). I feel curiosity seeing his works and pondering on them is an experience beatific.
Scroll through his series of 100×2 photos of female children posed with fruits (apples and oranges) on their shoulders– and you’ll feel something too I bet.