Michael K. Yamaoka

MICHAEL K. YAMAOKA was born in Japan, attended Waseda University in Tokyo, and was the first Japanese student to receive a photography degree from Art Center College of Design in California. He began his career as a commercial photographer in New York at BBD&O before opening his own studio, where his clients comprised the cream of the Fortune 500 list, including AT&T, Toshiba, General Electric, PepsiCo and Time-Life.  After the tragic death of his son in an automobile accident in 1997, Michael concentrated on his personal photography, publishing a book, Odyssey, A 35 Year Photographic Journey, and establishing a scholarship in his son’s memory. Traveling and shooting extensively in Europe, Asia, the United States and Russia, he continued to develop the themes of texture, stillness, and singularities, in details that explore the passage of time. He has exhibited in one-man shows in New York, Tokyo, Kyoto, in many cities in Germany, and at the German Consulate in New York to critical acclaim. Michael’s work is included in many private and corporate collections, and in 2008 he was honored when I.M. Pei requested a print for his personal collection. 

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