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Tsutomu Yamagata – Surveillance (Signed)


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After his previous work “Thirteen Orphans” and “Ten Disciples”, Yamagata continues to focus on the marginalized population. In “SURVEILLANCE”, objectified young women in their rooms are automatically taken by an infrared camera designed for monitoring animals, completely setting aside the normal relationship between the photographer and the subject.

“Sometimes they consciously pose in front of the camera, and at other times they don’t do anything. They know about the spectators’ existence but sometimes they simply forget about how they are being watched.” – Yumi Aota

“Since I have gotten older, I have become curious about the lives of women in their 20s. For some reason I find many of them quite cold and daring. In this work, I have looked into their lives in order to find out what is behind their charm and mystery.

I began searching for collaborators for the project through online bulletin boards and acquaintances. We met up to discuss about the project. Coming from different backgrounds, office workers, teachers, art students, and so on, they would tell me a lot of things about their work and family.

After explaining the concept of this project, I passed to them an infrared trail camera that was originally designed to monitor animals. The camera does not need any form of operation – it automatically captures without emitting any sound or light when it detects movements. Pictures taken cannot be reviewed with the camera. The participants moved around freely in their rooms in the presence of the camera. No photographer was present. When they returned the camera to me, they seemed to be more curious about the results than I was, as if they were peeking into the lives of other people.” – Tsutomu Yamagata

* Signed by the artist *


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