b. 1963, Japan

Yuji Ono Biography

Paris-based photographer Yuji Ono is known for his conceptual approach to photography, in which he considers light as both medium and subject. Often working with historical paintings, as well as chandeliers in museums, palaces, and churches across Europe, Ono experiments with the properties of light under different conditions.

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Paris

Yuji Ono studied photography at the Osaka University of Arts in the 1980s, after which he moved to Paris. In the city, he visited museums and galleries to study historical paintings and photographs, during which he became interested in painting as a photographic subject. Ono's earlier works involved photographing the main altars of Parisian churches, paying attention to their two-dimensional, decorative paintings as well as their three-dimensional, sculptural aspects.

Tableaux

Ono's longstanding interest in light results from one of his museum visits, when he witnessed the moment a painting was illuminated by sunlight flooding through an opened door. In his 'Tableaux' series, ongoing since 1995, Ono photographs paintings from the Renaissance to the Impressionist periods under natural light, which he then meticulously prints in grayscale in his studio.

In a 2018 interview with ShugoArts, Ono explained that he works with paintings leading up to Impressionism because of the historical use of varnish. It is the texture of the varnish that is made evident in Ono's 'Tableaux' works, which includes his photograph of the 17th-century painting Ermite Lisant, while the painted image itself is reduced to amorphous clouds of gray and black.

Luminescence

Yuji Ono expanded his study of light in 'Luminescence', a series of photographs depicting chandeliers that hang in the Palace of Versailles, Chantilly Castle, and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Unlike 'Tableaux', the works in 'Luminescence' were photographed under artificial light. Set against black backgrounds, Ono reduces the chandeliers to silhouettes of light, emphasising its physicality.

Exhibitions and projects

Yuji Ono's solo exhibitions include Luminescence, ShugoArts, Tokyo (2021); Vice Versa — Les Tableaux, ShugoArts, Tokyo (2018); Yuji Ono: Luminescence, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (2006); Yuji Ono: Les Tableaux, Les Rencontres de la photographie d'Arles, France (2005); and Luminescence, Zeit Foto Salon, Tokyo (2004).

Ono's work has also been featured in group exhibitions internationally, including Light and Shadow: First There Was Light, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (2006); Ishihara Collection, Shanghai Museum (2005); Mask of Japan - Japanese Contemporary Photography, Guangdong Museum (2004); and Mask of Japan, Aura Gallery, Shanghai (2003).

In 2010, Ono was commissioned by Fondation Cartier, Paris, to photograph the exhibition Vodun, African Voodoo. The resulting images, which numbered 200 in total, show Voodoo sculptures from across Benin, Togo, and Nigeria set against the black backgrounds characteristic of Ono's work.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021

Yuji Ono Featured Artworks

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Luminescence #1 by Yuji Ono contemporary artwork photography
Yuji Ono Luminescence #1, 2004 Gelatin silver print
116.4 x 89.1 cm
ShugoArts Contact Gallery
Luminescence #14 by Yuji Ono contemporary artwork photography
Yuji Ono Luminescence #14, 2004 Gelatin silver print
116.4 x 89.1 cm
ShugoArts Contact Gallery
Luminescence #20 by Yuji Ono contemporary artwork photography
Yuji Ono Luminescence #20, 2005 Gelatin silver print
116.4 x 89.1 cm
ShugoArts Contact Gallery
Luminescence #12 by Yuji Ono contemporary artwork photography
Yuji Ono Luminescence #12, 2002 Gelatin silver print
116.4 x 89.1 cm
ShugoArts Contact Gallery
Quelques Pommes, Paul Cézanne by Yuji Ono contemporary artwork photography
Yuji Ono Quelques Pommes, Paul Cézanne, 2017 Gelatin silver print
66.6 x 52 cm
ShugoArts Contact Gallery
Autoritratto 1, Annibale Carracci by Yuji Ono contemporary artwork photography
Yuji Ono Autoritratto 1, Annibale Carracci, 1999 Gelatin silver print
112.5 x 89.5 cm
ShugoArts Contact Gallery
Cavaliere di Marta, Caravaggio by Yuji Ono contemporary artwork photography
Yuji Ono Cavaliere di Marta, Caravaggio, 1999 Gelatin silver print
112.5 x 89.5 cm
ShugoArts Contact Gallery

Yuji Ono Recent Exhibitions

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Yuji Ono Represented By

ShugoArts contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan ShugoArts Tokyo

Yuji Ono In Video & Audio

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