Bonsai by Masao Yamamoto
Masao Yamamoto’s latest series, Bonsai, is singularly focused on the tradition of Japanese “tray planting,” a contemplative practice of maintaining small trees that mimic the shape and scale of full-size trees.
To these photographs of the trees themselves, Yamamoto adds his characteristic surrealist touch by manipulating the backgrounds and perspectives of his compositions — a tree is larger than the moon, a bonsai teeters on a cliff, dwarfing a mountain range.
Viewers are drawn in by Yamamoto’s insertion of a cultivated, “indoor” object into a seemingly outdoor setting and then back into the studio. The trick of Yamamoto’s practice is his blurring of these lines.
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