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  • By Carol Taylor-Kearney

Takashi Yamashita Takes You to the Void

Takashi Yamashita’s exhibition at Atlantic Gallery called “Ku Emptiness – Mu Nothingness, a photo journey” lives up to its expressed theme. But to come at “Ku Emptiness – Mu Nothingness” as a photo journey or an exhibition is unfair: it is really an experience.

From the moment I stepped through the door it felt as though I had floated into a foreign place—a place with no particular direction, only intervals. Active islands of monochromatic rectangles and squares of various values and tones are placed relatively high on the wall. The pieces are unframed or minimally framed lending a sense of oneness with the room. This not only made me aware of the spaces between each piece or grouping, but of the distinct “blip” each object contributes—some are long slides, others even tempo-ed, and still others small and quiet or small and strong. Strangely, I felt an absence of my feet on the floor, as though the floor had become a fog. Or maybe it was an absence of body. In either case, I drifted along— conscious of the varying lights of each island and the configuration of space.

Each of these “islands” had its own characteristics. My original inclination was to think of them in terms of value, but on closer inspection color—sepia, blue, pinks and purples—set distinct moods reflecting time, season, age, solidity or fluidity. Although the exhibition’s title tells me that this is photography, the images appear like handmade prints or paintings composed using washes by soft and coarse brushes. The density of markings create patterns

and silhouettes that recall the natural world but take a certain amount of imagination and contemplation to decipher. All this leads to an experience that is meditative.

“Ku Emptiness – Mu Nothingness, a photo journey” by Takashi Yamashita will be at Atlantic Gallery until November 25th. Atlantic Gallery is located at 547 West 27th Street or 548 West 28th Street, Suite 540 (accessible from either street) New York, NY. For more information on or to see more art work by Takashi Yamashita visit his web site at I strongly encourage you to visit this site for both the images and the beautiful poems he includes as descriptors.

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