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Japanese photographer Tsutomu Yamagata’s latest photobook “My Little Cosmos” is a complex work that came to life during the Corona pandemic. Holed up in his apartment and grappling with feelings of pessimism and depression, Yamagata noticed his reality intertwining with strange dreams from his childhood, about contorted figures, deformed bodies and dark emptiness. Surrounded by magazines, newspapers, photobooks and photographs he had taken in the past, Yamagata created pastiches to recreate these unsettling visions.
“Wrinkled lumps of flesh and parts of the human body slowly deform as they approach me; sometimes, I am left alone in a vast, pitch-dark space; animals with extremely long legs appeared from afar, and their body immediately sinks into the growing crowds of human faces and lumps of something unknown. I don’t know what these dreams mean—they make me feel a bit scared and anxious, but they are not nightmares. It must be the cosmos within me that creates and moves me.”
― from Tsutomu Yamagata’s afterword (included in Japanese & English)