Born in 1967, lives and works Tokyo, Japan
Osamu Yokonami considers the power of dress as a symbol that alternately marks or dissolves identity. In his latest series, Assembly, Yokonami depicts uniformed girls acting in unison set against the vastness of nature, achieving a simplicity that allows the individual girls to disappear and the expressiveness of the group to come forward.
It’s remarkable how a couple of uniforms can turn an innocent frolic on the beach into something far more sinister.
He photographs the eerie visual effects of a group dynamic, the results echoing everything from “The Sound Of Music” or “Moonrise Kingdom” to “The Virgin Suicides.” With this cinematic feel and view, the overall tenor vacillates from cheerful and light-hearted to melancholic and even eerie.
Many of Yokonami’s other subject matter addresses how clothing can affect a given mood, narrative or visual effect. In a particularly captivating set, the Kyoto-born photographer captures children donning clown and geisha costumes, giving the childhood tradition of playing “dress up” a hint of the uncanny.