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Michael K. Yamaoka Explores Nature and Artifice

USA - New York, NY | Jan 19 2013 | (22:48:25 - EDT)

Michael K. Yamaoka takes a new direction in his evocative photography at the Atlantic Gallery in its new location in Chelsea, New York until Feb. 1, 2013.

"Saturation & Serenity" explores the tensions between color and form, surface and depth, the ravages of time and the timeless. In photographs of startlingly intense color and almost palpable texture, Mr. Yamaoka captures the embellishments nature has added to the artifacts man has created. The brilliant color, inherent, but often subdued in the original images, has been enhanced in these new works, to depict a heightened reality.

"The color and texture were already there," says Mr. Yamaoka, "but muted—not readily apparent. What I've done is bring out the beauty in places and things that goes unnoticed. By manipulating the images digitally, I offer another view of such mundane things as a crumbling wall, or reflections in water, so they can be seen as art." Indeed, the colors and especially the textures in these large digital prints are so hyper-real that the surfaces seem to undulate.

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Born in Japan, Mr. Yamaoka studied at Waseda University in Tokyo and graduated with a degree in photography from Art Center College of Design in California. He began his career in commercial photography at BBD&O in New York before opening his own studio, where his clients included AT&T, Toshiba, General Electric, PepsiCo, Time-Life and others of the Fortune 500 list. Simultaneously, he built a body of personal work, making images of day-to-day encounters outside the studio.

After the death of his son in 1997, Mr. Yamaoka concentrated solely on his personal photography, publishing a book, Odyssey, A 35 Year Photographic Journey, and establishing a scholarship in his son's memory. Shooting extensively worldwide, he continued to develop the themes of texture, stillness, and singularities, in details that capture the passage of time. He has exhibited in critically acclaimed solo shows in New York, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nuremberg, in many cities in Bavaria, Germany, and at the German Consulate in New York. Mr. Yamaoka's work is included in private and corporate collections worldwide, and in 2008 he was honored when I.M. Pei requested a print for his personal collection.

Says Yamaoka, "I invite you to share moments in time and place captured with my camera; of beauty created deliberately by man or coincidentally by nature; a celebration of our precious world."

The Atlantic Gallery is now located at 548 W 28th Street New York, NY in Room 540.

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