Born in San Francisco to Japanese parents, Yasuhiro Ishimoto (1921 – 2012) went with his parents to Japan at age three and grew up in Kochi, Japan. He returned to the United States in 1939 in order to study agriculture at the University of California, but was detained at the Amachi Internment Camp in Armach, Colorado from 1942 to 1944.
After World War II, Ishimoto moved to Chicago to study architecture at Northwestern University (1946). He transferred to the Institute of Design in 1948 to study photography under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, earning a BS in 1952. He returned to Japan in 1953, where he has kept residence except for a period spent in Chicago from 1959 to 1961 on a fellowship from the Minolta Corporation.
Yasuhiro Ishimoto was an important figure in the cross-pollination of photographic ideas and styles between American and Japanese photography. His portrait of a city, Chicago, Chicago, published as a book (1969), is a rich study full of the details of time and place.
Moving through Chicago as both citizen and visitor, Yasuhiro Ishimoto was able to create documents that speak eloquently for the culture of the city in the 1950s and 60s. His photographs present highly original visual spaces, which nonetheless suggest the politics, mentality, and history of the city.
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