Wataru Yamamoto – Drawing a Line


(spreads courtesy of MCV MCV)

Artist: Wataru Yamamoto
Title: Drawing a Line
Publisher: MCV MCV
Year: 2012

A line stretches out from the woods. Cutting through the wild, chaotic forest, it lures us in from outside the frame – reaching out and pulling us in. Wataru Yamamoto’s Drawing a Line is a playful and seductive invite. Formulaic and concise, the work is also witty and poetic. Buried in the volumes of photographic self-portraiture, there’s a secret history of the cable release. Countless coiled or taunt wires that all lead to the photographer. In this sense, Yamamoto’s work is classically rooted. Through the brambles and over the creeks, the cord ultimately points to the artist – standing attentive, dressed in a poncho, and nestled in the verdant Japanese forest. But, if we’re paying close attention, a straight line is never so straight. It always strays, breaks its path, deviates, and meanders off in a new direction – leading us astray.

Shrouded in leaves, the artist is always present, even when he’s hidden, but it is the line that matters. Dancing through the frame, fragmenting and marking the landscape, they bisect the picture plane and merge with the branches, pausing briefly on trees, only to move on, taunting us to follow, past the artist, into the darkness and deeper into the woods.