Yamamoto Masao lives in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, in a house surrounded by forests over three thousand feet above sea level. His lifestyle matches his art, entirely devoted to capturing the “small things in silence” that life and nature offer his gaze.
When in 2013 we took Masao and his wife Reiko for the first time to the Ardèche, on the invitation of Annie and Bernard Mirabel, affinities became evident immediately.
The same love for nature and the ties with the mountain, not that far different from their life in Yamanashi: the same wooded hills on the horizon, the same lights in space in the evening garden. Since then there have been various visits, simply for the pleasure of it, but also to fill up this silent contract between the hosts and the guest: bringing a stone to the edifice that the Fabrique du pont d’Aleyrac has been building for years, inviting artists to work on the Ardèche.
Yamamoto wanted to meet people here and photograph them. Using small settings he depicted imaginatively what seemed important in their lives: the animals they raise, the countryside they live in.
ーー Didier Brouse
This book includes an unpublished text by Marie-Hélène Lafon, who was awarded the Renaudot Prize in 2020.