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Yuan Yao: A matter and/or two

Chengdu, China


The model, Nagakura Nami was a peripheral friend of photographer Yuan Yao when they met in Tokyo, Japan. Through the photographic work, A matter and/or two, they began to form a close relationship, share affection and common values. A unique connection was established as they would end up on a spiritual journey together. The photographic series, A matter and/or two, is a visual and visceral journey through the landscape of Japan, for example Fuji, the birthplace of the future mother, and tells the narrative of a momentous and magnificent experience as a woman; motherhood.

All human beings have been carried in a mother’s womb. A mother can be present or absent, thoughtful or disruptive, supportive or dominant, — in some way, motherhood will always be something surrounding or least shaping our lives. Yuan Yao’s photographic project is a homage to the beauty of pregnancy and motherhood. The photographs illustrate, a mother’s care and resilience and a bit of sadness, in symbiosis, mixed into a mysterious combination of traditional storytelling and cinematic experience. With penetrating strong colours, Japanese landscape scenarios, naked bodies and the use of blurred out imagery, A matter and/or two becomes an intimate inward look into human existence in-between life and death.

Yuan Yao was born in 1988 near Chengdu, China. In his photographic practice, Yuan Yao is inspired by Japanese folklore and mythology, and hope to underline female empowerment and compassion with the narratives he conveys. In the process of this particular photographic series, he expedites mystery and awes, while underlining duality in human life, portraying happiness and melancholy. The photographic series on Nagakura Nami is one among others, that will be featured in his forthcoming photobook. 

Edited by Nikolaj Ahlefeldt Andersen