WuKongMangMangRan – Manabu Yamanaka


For reasons unknowable, not every life is welcomed into this world. And yet for a fleeting moment this tiny embryo, barred from admission before ever having the chance to utter its first cry, bequeathed to me an everlasting image of its perfect beauty. Manabu Yamanaka sobre su serie WuKongMangMangRan.

Por alguna razón inexplicable, no toda vida es bienvenida a este mundo. Y aún durante un breve momento, este diminuto embrión excluido del mundo aún antes de tener la posibilidad de articular su primer grito, ha dejado en mí una imagen imperecedera de su perfecta belleza.

Manabu Yamanaka is a photographer whose work is distinctly disturbing. Disturbing because the five series he’s accomplished thus far –Arakan, Fujohkan, Gyahtei, Dohshi and Jyoudo– all focus on societal outcasts, like street people, the elderly and the physically deformed. Distinct because he chooses his subjects according to how well they personify certain tenets of Buddhism; primarily the disregard of the flesh for transcendent spiritual aims. Aileen Torres.

Aileen Torres: Each series of photos has subjects that are atypical -each group is outside of mainstream society, either by choice or chance-. What compels you to photograph these people?

Yamakata: A Buddhist concept: “Everything in this world has bodhisattva” [a divinity that] transforms into a human being or thing and comes to us to save [us from] our suffering. I think that things people don’t want to look at give a message to us. The subjects I chose in the past are beggars [Arakan], corpses [Fujohkan], old women [Gyahtei], handicapped people [Jyoudo], and refugees. All the subjects are outside of mainstream society, but they give messages to us when we look at them in the life-size pictures. My quest is to seek out splendid beauty among ugliness.

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