About a week ago we blogged about Yasumasa (Yone) Yonehara’s upcoming exhibition Shake That Ass. We went to the opening last Friday at Backwoods Gallery and had a great time meeting and chatting to Yone himself, who has travelled all the way to Australia for the first time, just for this exhibition.
Yone is a dynamic and influential photographer in Japan. You can read more about him in our first post here. In his photographs, he harnesses the power of repetition, and presents collages of (very hot) Japanese women.
He knows these women in his photographs quite well. Through his work with magazines, he meets some of Tokyo’s hottest models, and approaches them independently to model for his erotic art shoots.
Yone’s signature collage took on the form of a font which was used in a series of posters that hung above the bar.
This one used lyrics appropriated from En Vogue’s Free Your Mind (and the rest will follow). The song choice was very tongue in cheek, and seemed a tiny bit appropriate…
I wear tight clothing, high heeled shoes
It doesn’t mean that I’m a prostitute, no, no, no
I like rap music, wear hip hop clothes
That doesn’t mean that I’m sellin’ dope no, no, no
We spent a lot of the time at the opening hanging out with Yone’s wife, Yohko, who was not at all bothered by his obvious obsession with women. She actually does much of his promotion and gets to travel with him to places like Australia. A lot of the photos on display were shot at the office/studio which they share in Harajuku.
The photographs below were her favourite pieces in the exhibition, and ours too. A series of polaroids mounted in an elongated perspex display box.
Yonehara’s Polaroid style has global appeal and has been appropriated by brands such as American Apparel for use in advertising campaigns. Each series shows the same model, shot continuously over a small length of time where the model would invite the viewer, suggestively, to come a little closer.
And here we are with the man himself!
It was an absolute pleasure to meet him. He was the nicest guy and although he spoke little English he totally knew we loved his work! While I was drinking wine, Yone was sipping his Coles brand milk from a carton, in preparation for the after-party at New Guernica where he would be djing Japanese hip-hop and electro later in the night. He gave us white and blue polka dot wrist bands for the after-party that just happened to match perfectly with my shirt. That meant I had to go, right?
There are so many cheap, sexually charged images out there that cater purely for the male gaze. Yone’s photographs, although incredibly erotic in nature, are not one bit like them. Don’t miss out on seeing his beautiful work at Backwoods!