yukko* was born and raised in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. After receiving a postgraduate degree from King’s College London in 1989, she served as an interpreter in the prefectural government for eight years. This was a good opportunity for her to become exposed to various cultures of the world and to better understand the differences between cultures.
After this, she embarked on a new career in the tourism section of the prefectural government in 1998. It was there that she actively encountered photography. Since then, she has been engaged in the photographic arts. She left the government and moved to Osaka in 2004.She has had solo exhibitions in various cities in Japan, including Osaka, Takarazuka, Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Tokyo, Yokohama, Hiroshima and Sapporo.
yukko* takes photographs as a way of expressing respect for everything that exists on earth. This way of thinking is strongly influenced by the Japanese understanding of nature. In Japan it has been believed that there are gods in nature. From her experience of different cultures when living overseas and of meeting people from different countries through interpretation work, she has come to know the differences in how people regard nature. She recognizes in herself the inherent, traditional Japanese respect for all aspects of the natural environment. She converses with every subject she photographs. She says she sometimes senses a refusal, in which case she stops. In those cases, she believes she will not be able to take a good photograph no matter what. When she takes pictures, she says she looks into the eyes of the subject, even when it physically does not have eyes. By “looking into the eyes,” she means that the subject makes a special connection with her, and she with it. When this happens, she takes her camera and lets her lens capture that look. It is only when her own energy, the energy of the subject, and the energy surrounding them meet that she can create, she says. Born on the earth as a part of the huge wheel of life, she shows respect towards every element of the environment, a respect epitomized in her work.
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