Yu Yamauchi 

Dawn 03 

Dawn 03

About the artist

Over a period of four years, Yu Yamauchi photographed Mount Fuji at dawn, always from the same vantage point. Six hundred mornings thus unfolded before his lens, revealing an infinite space that is never the same from one morning to the next, its colours and shapes ranging from minimalist to baroque.


What made you decide one day to take the road to Mount Fuji?
I've always travelled a lot, and every time I am struck by the irreducible gap between everyday life and life when travelling. I wanted to reconcile daily life and travel in a single place, and this is when a friend offered to lend me his lodge on Mount Fuji. I now spend five months a year there. It’s a mountain retreat with no water or electricity, built above the clouds. Clouds are like the earth’s skin; beyond, the sky is infinite, and the stars scattered in throngs. Up there, I'm in space, on a star. The symbiosis with the elements I experience in that place is unique, and has made me want to spend as much time there as possible.

Why did you specifically focus on the precise moment of sunrise?
The feeling I was just talking about - the relationship with the elements, between me as an individual and the movement of the earth and stars – grabs me most at dawn: my life feels part of the vast scale of the universe and its cycle, like a miracle. The appearance of the sun also changes the space: the wind turns, the birds sing, the clouds continue to move, it’s like watching the flow of life. My life up there, my genuine experience of the cycle - I collect rain water for example - my minimalist lifestyle, allow me to perceive that I am a part of the whole, a part of the cosmos.

The vantage point you have chosen for your photographs gives the impression that you are floating weightlessly in infinite space.
Initially, I photographed people passing by the lodge, as well as its owners, who bought this place 40 years ago. After completing this series of portraits, entitled “The people under the clouds”, I turned to the clouds themselves. I wanted to decentre my viewpoint: I took a photograph of the landscape before me, then I flipped the image - this allowed me to free my mind, to look at things differently.

How did you decide to put an end to this project? Have you found a new object of contemplation?

The end came naturally. I’m currently exploring Nishi Omote Jima and Yakushima, two islands in southern Japan: I photograph the trees; I’m again trying to find and document a relationship between the elements and me.

Limited edition, numbered and signed.

Selected shows and awards

Dawn, Hyogo Sasayama Colissimo, 2015

Dawn, Nagano Tateshina HijiriHikaritera, 2015
Dawn, Omotesado Kagure, Dawn, 2015
Dawn, Kagoshima Yakushima Gallery, Tabira, 2014
Dawn, Tokyo Hikarie 8 / Cube 1.2.3, Shibuya, 2014
Dawn, TIME&STILE Futagotamagawa Tokyo, EPSITE Shinjuku Tokyo 2013 
Dawn, Miyako Yoshinaga, New York, Gallery Koen, Kagoshima, Spiral Garden Aoyama, Tokyo, 2012
Dawn, Art Studio Tobira Hokkaido, Yebis Art Labo Nagoya, Albus Fukuoka, Athens Art Gallery Osaka, Naniwaya Asakusa Tokyo, Maruzen Nihonbashi Tokyo, Book246 Travel Gallery Tokyo, 2011
Young Portfolio Exhibition 2011, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Yamanashi, 2011
Supernatural, Miyako Yoshinaga, New York, 2011
Dawn, Akaaka Gallery, Tokyo, 2010
Tokyo Photo 2010, Academy Hills 40 Hills Roppongi, Tokyo, 2010
Color imaging next New Exhibition, Spiral Garden Aoyama, Tokyo, 2008
New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2008
Color imaging contest Winners Exhibition, Spiral Garden Aoyama, Tokyo, 2006

Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, 2011

International Photography Award 2009 Fine art, Honorable Mention, 2009
New Cosmos Of Photography 2008, Honorable Mention, 2008
Color imaging contest 2006, Special Award, 2006

Selected publications

Dawn, Akaaka Art Publishing

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Yu Yamauchi 
Dawn 03


Technical information

Pigment print on Ilford Gallery Gold Fibre Silk paper - limited edition, numbered and signed certificate.


30 x 30 cm, Edition of 50 250.00 €

By the same artist

Yu Yamauchi

By the same curator

NEW JPN GEN with Marc Feustel