Exhibition Report

Yang Yuwen

John Sypal

©︎Yang Yuwen


Yang Yuwen, a young photographer from Hunan, China, moved to Tokyo in 2016. At this time she had no real interest in photography. But, as is common for foreigners after moving to Japan, she began taking smartphone pictures to record and explore her life in Tokyo. These she shared with her friends at the Japanese language school she was enrolled in. She told me it was the positive responses from friends that sparked an interest in learning more about photography.


So, with only a basic understanding and growing interest in the medium, Yuwen enrolled in Visual Arts Tokyo. There she studied under photographer Shinya Arimoto, becoming proficient with both her camera and the darkroom. Graduating two years later, she joined Totem Pole Photo Gallery.  


Now, maybe some disclosure is needed. Totem Pole was founded by Arimoto and I have been a member for over 10 years. Yuwen is a friend of mine. Remember, I’m not a journalist, or academic-- objectivity is fine and all but I am using this weekly column to celebrate Tokyo’s photo community and culture, so, from time to time I’ll be focusing on people whom I know. (Suggestions for future profiles are welcome!)


Like her teacher, Arimoto-sensei, the tools she uses are simple: a Rolleiflex 3.5 and Kodak Tmax 400 film.  She develops all her own film and prints everything in the darkroom. She’s had two shows at Totem Pole so far and in both her photographs are straightforward yet mysterious. She photographs the real world, but there as a print they become a world all of her own.


Her first exhibition, February Snow, collected images taken in her hometown in China. There’s a sense of decay and death- but an asture, quiet beauty in them as well.


Her second show at Totem Pole, Moonlight Swamp, incorporated friends as subjects- figures within the frames are not distinct personalities but rather apparitions appearing in the woods or water. She is drawn to such places- and there finds beauty in how light mixes with grime on water. 


For someone who has been seriously photographing for less than three years, Yuwen is a photographer of great talent and potential. We should all be excited to see what she shows us in the years to come. 



中国・湖南省出身の若手写真家、楊 喩雯 (Yang Yuwen)は、2016年に東京に移り住みました。その時、彼女は写真には興味がありませんでした。しかし、彼女は東京での生活を記録し、探求するためにスマートフォンで写真を撮り始めました。それを、日本語学校の友人たちと共有していました。彼女は、友人からの好意的な反応をきっかけに、写真を学ぶことに興味を持ったそうです。


そして、楊さんはVisual Arts Tokyoに入学後、写真家の有元伸也氏に師事し、カメラと暗室の両方を使いこなせるようになりました。卒業した後は、TOTEM POLE PHOTO GALLERYのメンバーになりました(TOTEM POLE PHOTO GALLERYは有元氏が設立したギャラリーで、私も10年以上前からメンバーとして活動しています)。


彼女が使う道具はシンプルなもので、カメラはローライフレックス3.5F、フィルムはいつもコダック T-MAX400です。 フィルムはすべて自分で現像し、プリントも暗室で行うといいます。TOTEM POLE PHOTO GALLERYではこれまでに2回の展示を行っていますが、どちらも彼女の写真はストレートでありながらミステリアスです。 








©︎Yang Yuwen

©︎Yang Yuwen

©︎Yang Yuwen

©︎Yang Yuwen

©︎Yang Yuwen

楊 喩雯「月光の沼」(2021.9/21〜 10/3)会場風景



楊 喻雯 / Yang Yuwen

1992年 中国湖南省衡陽市出身

2013年 南昌工程学院(Nanchang Institute Of Technology)卒業

2020年 東京ビジュアルアーツ写真学科作家コース卒業


Yang Yuwen http://yangyuwen.pupu.jp/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/yangyvis/


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