During the early 1980's, Yasuomi Hashimura gained commercial success in the advertising world through the technique, "action still life". He captured images of still life movement at the flash of a 100,000th of a second, creating wholly original works by focusing his attention on the most basic of elements - water. One of his most notable works, “Cheers”, showing the exact moment that champagne explodes from a bottle, was commissioned for Esquire Magazine's 50th Anniversary Poster. Hashimura feels that the action can be the most powerful aspect of the image. Many of the images in this series use water and liquids as an abstraction and textural, painterly addition to the photograph. There is an inherent beauty in the fluidity of the water and the pausing of a moment. It is no surprise that Hashimura excels in his use of water in the images, the fluidity of the water is evocative of brushstrokes – which has become an integral part of his fine art work.
Yasuomi Hashimura has been creating still lives for over 40 years. His expertise lies in using large format 8x10 film cameras to capture in lush detail and color the exact instant movement occurs. The still lives are impeccably styled, each object placed with care and awareness of light and scale. When shooting with an 8x10 film camera, there is no viewfinder and a remote shutter snaps the image. So, in essence, Hashimura relied on his own eye to capture the instance he was looking for. The astounding thing about these images is that they were all done with film, no digital alterations. These sets were often very involved; such is the case with the “Four Stones” series wherein two assistants tossed the stones repeatedly into blue water while Hashimura stood on a ladder to create the photograph. In “Four Stones III”, Hashimura has left us a glimpse of reality in the form of an assistant’s hand, pulled away just a second too slowly.
In the “Birth” series, Hashimura works backwards, showing viewers the emergence of a wine glass from a completely still body of water. The images are so perfectly lit and composed that they exist in their own world. In “Shatter, 1-4”, we see several elements of movement, both the glass breaking and the water moving at the same time. There is a strong connection to paintings, using the glass as its own material. He is showing the viewer the elegance in destruction.