Yoshinori Mizutani (1987) lives and works in Tokyo. Mizutani graduated from the Tokyo College of Photography in 2012. He has won a number of prestigious awards including Japan Photo Award in 2013 as well as Foam Talent Call and Lens Culture Emerging Talents Top 50 in 2014.
Mizutani's newest series HDR_nature series offers a fresh take on nature photography. Using the latest technology, he creates images which look like painted with brush strokes. Today everyone can take photographs and there are too many photographs of nature, making it extremely difficult to come up with something new with this well-trodden and familiar theme. With HDR_nature, Mizutani ventured into a new frontier in photography. HDR, short for High Dynamic Range, is a post-processing task of taking a series of images, combining them and adjusting the contrast ratios to create images as close as possible to what the human eye sees. He deliberately moves his camera around to let it combine multiple out-of-focus images. As a result, he manages to create something we have never seen before. By adopting a technology of digital photography in a creative way, he added a new page to the history of photographic expression which has always gone hand-in-hand with the development of technology.
About the series LONDON:
In 2016 during Photo London, Mizutani explored the parks and streets of London, registering their natural diversity in his own unique way. This has resulted in a small series consisting of 5 images.
About the series KAWAU:
'I have a growing interest in birds inhabiting Tokyo since I completed my previous series 'Tokyo Parrots'. 'KAWAU', which is a Japanese term for cormorant, composes the second part of my trilogy on birds. Similar to the parakeets captured in 'Tokyo Parrots', kawau has increased dramatically in number over the past decade and now their over population is causing troubles to the human life as well as local ecosystem in several parts of the country. Despite their reported negative impact and reputation, it is breathtaking to watch a big flock of birds, and through my photography I want to reveal their existence, which makes our everyday urban landscape somehow surreal.'
About the series SAKURA:
'Cherry blossoms are so beautiful that I don't think I've spent as much time looking at anything else. Facing a sakura tree, my eyes shift from one petal to another, from one flower to another until the whole picture is grasped. In 'Sakura', I attempt to visualize the move of my observing eyes, and crystallize the visual experience of meditating and wandering upon the blooming tree. As a result, the images shows that photography captures not only a specific moment, but also the passing of time.'
About the series TOKYO PARROTS:
Mizutani was moved by and became obsessed with the unusual population growth of lime green parrots in Tokyo. His photographs capture the strange urban landscapes and uncanny feeling created by the parrots' presence.
On his encounter with the parrots Mizutani has commented:
'When I first saw them I was afraid - I thought I was going to be attacked, like in Hitchcock's "The Birds". '
'The Tokyo Parrots are obvious in some ways. We would conceivably notice them ourselves were we to wander the particular streets of Tokyo they live near. But for sure we would not see them the way Yoshinori Mizutani makes us see and experience them. The photographer elevates what must be a strange spectacle in person, to bring us a different, equally strange, and compelling beautiful spectacle in the form of photographs.'
From Tokyo Parrots, an essay on Yoshinori by Jörg Colberg in FOAM Talent 2014.
About the series YUSURIKA:
"Yusurika" is the name of a tiny mosquito like insect in Japanese. Mizutani decided to base a series of photographs on this little bug because he constantly searches for nature within the urban environment where he lives. He believes this attraction to nature is related to his upbringing and the rural area where he was born.
'Observing the wildlife allows me to once again recognise and think about the attractions it offers. While playing in the nature, I am exploring and reflecting upon my own past. It is this linking of memory and the genuine affinity towards the wildlife that I wish to express through my work.'
Yusurika encompasses more than the little bug alone. It is Mizutani's poetic tribute to nature.
About the series MOONLIGHT:
Mizutani's love for nature can be clearly seen in his series 'Moonlight' in which he has made a tribute to the mighty pine trees in the 'golden' moonlight.
About the series COLORS:
In his earlier series 'Colors' Mizutani snapped photos of any curious thing that caught his curiosity. According to Mizutani are 'the themes of my work the everyday and the familiar. What is familiar to me, however, could be new to the viewer. It could also be revelatory or something previously overlooked. It is the viewers' varied responses to and interpretations of images, which makes photography interesting.'
About the series, The Birds
Yoshinori Mizutani – The Birds (2014-2016)
"The birds" is the third installment in a series which follows the mass outbreak of birds in urban areas after "TOKYO PARROTS" and "KAWAU (HANON)." The work follows a large flock of white-cheeked starlings which have made a residential area in Tokyo into their nesting place.
In a time when agriculture was the main industry, white-cheeked starlings were viewed as a good bird which would eat the harmful insects who destroyed crops and, as such, fell under the protection of the state. However, these birds have recently lost their nesting areas due to urban development. Because of this, and in an attempt to protect themselves from their natural enemies, they have begun amassing and creating new nesting areas in various cities, and this has seen them become reclassified as a nuisance. Large numbers of these white-cheeked starlings have led to problems such as sanitation issues and the smell caused by their excrement as well as the added noise which comes with their chirping. Over the year and a half of this project, the large trees in residential areas which they called home have been cut down, and local governments have tried many different measures for driving them out but have yet to be met with success.
This mass influx of white-cheeked starlings into urban areas has become a bizarre scene as an urban and environmental problem but, at the same time, is a beautiful display of the robust vitality of these birds. I long for the day when humans and birds can live together in harmony.
SELECTED SOLO SHOWS :
2018 HDR_nature, IMA gallery, Tokyo
2018 SAKURA / MOONLIGHT, IMA gallery, Tokyo
2017 Couleurs Tokyoïtes, Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris, Paris
2016 Yoshinori Mizutani, mc2gallery, Milano, Italy
2016 HANON, IMA CONCEPT STORE , Tokyo
2016 Rain, webber gallery, London
2016 COLORS - YUSURIKA, aura gallery, Beijing
2016 SAKURA, ibasho gallery, Antwerp
2016 Yoshinori Mizutani 2010-14, Tokyo Art Coordination, Tokyo
2016 TOKYO PARROTS | COLORS | Paris, ELTTOB TEP ISSEY MIYAKE / GINZA, Tokyo
2015 Tokyo Parrots-Yusurika-Moonlight, Galerie Au Premier, Zurich, Switzerland
2015 YUSURIKA, IMA Gallery , Tokyo
2015 TOKYO PARROTS, aura gallery, Beijing
2015 TOKYO PARROTS / YUSURIKA, Graanmarkt 13, Antwerp
2015 COLORS / TOKYO PARROTS , IMA Gallery , Tokyo