Ishiuchi Miyako - Photographs London Tuesday, November 23, 2021 | Phillips
  • 'I am photographing the city of Yokosuka, but actually, I am not photographing the city of Yokosuka.'
    —Ishiuchi Miyako

    Early prints of Yokosuka Story are exceedingly rare. Yokohama Museum of Art holds an early print of this image.
    For her first series Yokosuka Story, Ishiuchi Miyako (b. 1947) photographed her hometown of Yokosuka (the site of the largest U.S. naval base overseas) where she had lived from the age of 6 until 19. While walking around the port city one day in 1977, Ishiuchi saw a little girl suddenly come running towards her and she took this photograph without looking through the viewfinder. The girl quickly ran past her; hence, she was able to capture only this one shot, which has since become emblematic of her debut project. ‘When looking at the girl in the picture, some people told me, “It seems just like Miyako,” even though I do not know the child,’ she remembers. ‘I am very fond of this photograph myself.’  
    One of Japan’s leading artists, Ishiuchi represented Japan at the 2005 Venice Biennale and is a multiple award winner, including the 4th Kimura Ihei Award (1979), Japan’s Medal with Purple Ribbon (2013) and the Hasselblad Award (2014). Her work has been exhibited internationally since 1979 and recent museum retrospectives include Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2015-16) and Ishiuchi Miyako: Grain and Image at the Yokohama Museum of Art (2017-18). Her work is held in many prominent institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Tate Modern, London.


    M. Ishiuchi, Yokosuka Story, Tokyo: Shashin Tsushinsha, 1979, cover.
    • Provenance

      The Third Gallery Aya, Osaka, 2008

    • Exhibited

      絶唱、横須賀ストーリー Yokosuka Story, Nikon Salon in Ginza, Tokyo, 26 April - 1 May, 1977, another
      Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows, Getty, Los Angeles, 6 October 2015 - 21 February 2016, another

    • Literature

      M. Ishiuchi, 絶唱、横須賀ストーリー Yokosuka Story, Tokyo: Shashin Tsushinsha, 1979, n.p.
      Ishiuchi Miyako: Hasselblad Award 2014, Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag, 2014, p. 10
      A. Maddox, Postwar Shadows, Ishiuchi Miyako, Los Angeles: Getty, 2015, p. 42, pl. 10
      Ishiuchi Miyako: Grain & Image, Yokohama: Yokohama Museum of Art, 2017, p. 229


絶唱、横須賀ストーリー#98 坂本町 Yokosuka Story #98 Sakamoto-chō

Gelatin silver print.
Image: 19 x 24.2 cm (7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.)
Sheet: 21 x 26 cm (8 1/4 x 10 1/4 in.)

Signed in rōmaji, titled, annotated ‘The girl came over’ in Japanese and dated on a label, all in ink on the verso.

Please note that the artist’s name appears in Japanese order with the surname before the forename.

Full Cataloguing

£7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for £22,680

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London Auction 23 November 2021