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Iwao Yamawaki

Bauhaus Dessau, c.1930

Iwao Yamawaki (1898-1987) is an interesting figure at the intersection of modernism and the history of Japanese photography. He began his career as an architect but became dissatisfied with Japanese practices. For that reason he travelled to Germany in 1930, where he enrolled as a student of the Bauhaus in Dessau. He started studying architecture at the Bauhaus, but soon moved on to the photography section where he produced architecture photography, portraits, still-lifes and photomontages. His photographic methods were highly influenced by those of the Bauhuas teachers,  Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Walter Peterhans.  Yamawaki continuously analyzed the relationship between photography and the design of spaces, and he often tried to interpret the connection between human beings and architectural space in his pictures. His work includes many images of the Bauhaus and its surroundings as well as many other modernist structures and interiors in Germany.

A monograph on the artists was published by Steidl in 2000, with an introduction by Ingrid Sischy.