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Large-format photos convey renowned artist Tadanori Yokoo’s unique view of Tokyo


“When I visited the
Nishimura Gallery and considered the exhibition
artwork selection and layout,
I thought how I’d like to hang
a wall-size Y-junction

— Tadanori Yokoo

Artist Tadanori Yokoo has spent years meticulously painting and photographing the places he sees disappearing from the Tokyo landscape: intersections where one street branches out into two, forming a Y. These intersections, and the pointy buildings they necessitate, are quickly becoming an anomaly around the world.

Yokoo explains: “Y-junctions are special places. In modern cities they are also extremely difficult to exploit usefully, and thus I sense their gradual demise. Perhaps I’m continuing to chase after a city landscape that will become extinct in the future.”

Quick Facts

  • Internationally renowned artist Tadanori Yokoo turned to HP Designjet printers to create photos in various sizes for his exhibition.
  • The HP Designjet L65500 was used to produce a high-quality photograph that covered an entire wall.
  • The HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer and HP Designjet Z6100 Printer produced other artwork for the exhibition with beautiful photo quality and high color accuracy.


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Photo Gallery

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In his art, Yokoo recognizes the convergence and clash of the old and new, and he draws from both to create his own vision. Recently, he chose 100 of his photos for an exhibition entitled “Tokyo Y-Junction” at the Nishimura Gallery, Chuo Ward in Tokyo.

Patiently awaiting epiphany

To share his perspective, Yokoo was deliberate in his artistic choices. He decided to capture the streets when they were empty—no small feat in Japan’s largest city.

“From the start I insisted on having no people in the photos,” Yokoo says. “Nowadays, with computer graphics you can immediately erase people from photographs. But I didn’t want to do that. I just kept waiting, committed, hoping that people would leave. Eventually that moment came, and when I opened the shutter it felt like my prayers had been answered.”

Yokoo was equally committed to acting on his inspiration for the design of his exhibition. He explains:

“I’d been pondering it for a while.
Once when I visited New York, I saw a
giant photograph on a building and thought
I’d like to do that in Japan sometime.”

Back at the Nishimura Gallery, Yokoo knew that a large-format print would be a great way to display his work: “When I visited the Nishimura Gallery and considered the exhibition artwork selection and layout, I thought how I’d like to hang a wall-size Y-junction photograph.”

Recreating an artist’s vision

To meet Yokoo’s needs, one digital printing technology was the clear choice: the HP Designjet L65500 Printer. HP Japan facilitated the production of the exhibition’s wall-size work using the HP Designjet L65500, which features odorless1 HP Latex Inks.

Yokoo was able to recreate his vision using the printer, which surpassed his expectations. The gallery wall acts as a window to the street. “I was surprised that it had been completely printed as a single work. Standing in front of it, it feels like I’ve entered the actual Y-junction depicted.”

In addition to the large-format photograph, HP printed the other artwork for the exhibition, using the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer and HP Designjet Z6100 Printer. Both use HP Vivera pigment inks to deliver beautiful photo quality and high color accuracy. HP also produced the invitations for the exhibition using an HP Indigo press 5500.

Meeting artistic challenges in new ways

Inspired by the high-quality digital prints enabled by cutting-edge HP technology, Yokoo expressed hope for new art born from the conflict between analog and digital: “I think that as the analog and digital worlds move farther and farther apart, the impact of their eventual collision will be greater. That’s why I hope HP continues to pursue cutting-edge printing technology, far ahead of my comprehension.”

Yokoo sees signs of new possibilities at the crossroads of great art and innovative technology. He says:

“Our actions will spawn
novel expressions in the new age.”

1Some substrates may have an inherent odor.