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Douglas Coupland:’ I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on an aircraft’

The photographer Yasuhiro Ishimotos images of the pioneering building of Greene and Greene have a negligible esthetic that still appears contemporary

A few months before his death in 2012, photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto solicited that his 1974 series on designers Greene and Greene be exhibited in California. The Museum of Art, Kochi, a unique exploration of modernism, American Arts and Craft movement and traditional Japanese architecture presented in a lean serial of 46 eloquently negligible black and white photos.

of 1955.


Interstate Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Robert R Blacker home, front introduction detail Photograph: Kochi Prefecture

, where he shot over 600 epitomes. Of the 1000, merely 82 were etched and only 23 were published.

in Kyoto taken 20 times before the Greene and Greene commission. Compositions tend to focus on geometry and layout items wooden hinges, fixtures, masonry but few wide fires incorporating ended arrangements. Despite the gap in time and situate, the resemblance between the 17 th century imperial withdraw and the Greene and Greene houses of the early 1900 s are close enough that one could be mistaken for the other.

FTAG 2 TT ATAG 19 TT DTAG 2 TT IMG 3 TT Stepping-stones from the Imperial Carriage Stop to the Gepparo, Katsura Imperial Villa, 1954. Image: Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center/ Kochi Prefecture

. Its a basis for envisioning how he launched the eye, proved his reputation for has become a modernist and how “hes taking” that and looked at the Greenes work.

, a seminal look at the ties between photography and architecture.

FTAG 3 TT ATAG 23 TT DTAG 3 TT IMG 4 TT David B Gamble mansion , northeast slumber hall item. Picture: Kochi Prefecture

, also in Pasadena, was bulldozed in 1968. Luckily the stairs persists, salvaged and preserved within the framework of the Huntingtons permanent gallery dedicated to Greene and Greene. Here, an evolution of their style can be traced through interior design elements straddling from furniture and fixtures, eschewing ornate Victorian forms of the day, through their expanding give of stained glass as well as their collaboration with the Hall brothers, original woodworkers applying mahogany, black walnut and teak to create an terminated floor-to-ceiling situation.

Quintessentially American in its mash-up of identity and culture, the relationship between Ishimoto and the Greene brothers goes beyond simple-minded polarities of east and west. Western creators had long viewed an exotic obsession for the eastern, often flirting with but seldom incorporating aesthetic modes to pave a new path forward.

FTAG 4 TT ATAG 25 TT DTAG 4 TT IMG 5 TT Josephine Van Rossem house, retaining wall Photograph: Kochi Prefecture

Theres resonance in terms of the Greens looking toward Japanese architecture for brainchild, offers Mallek, about the unique aesthetic confluence separated by centuries. About the same period Ishimoto was photographing Katsura Villa, in America the Greenes were being examined to by modern architects as moving forward, brainchild for a brand-new and native building. Just the lane Katsura was being framed, so were their works at the same season.

is at San Marinos Huntingdon Library until 3 October. Interstate 15, Las Vegas. Photo: George Rose/ Getty Images

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