Masumi Hayashi (1945-2006):

An Odyssey Through Panoramic Photo Collage

Welcome to the Masumi Hayashi Foundation, dedicated to preserving and elevating the artistic legacy of Dr. Masumi Hayashi. Our mission is to celebrate and share her unique contribution to the world of art: the creation of visionary panoramic photo collage that captivate and engage the viewer.

Dr. Hayashi's creative process was extraordinary. Using her trusted Nikon 35mm film camera, equipped only with an internal light meter, she manually tuned each exposure's f-stop, shutter speed, and aperture. This meticulous approach, enjoyed none of the immediate feedback provided by today's digital technologies. Instead she employed her masterful understanding of the photographic process and exercised her genius ability to visualize the final composition in selecting a location to set up and take the hundreds of individual exposures that make up each piece.

Dr. Hayashi's unique method of capturing her photos involved setting up her camera on a tripod and moving it in increments, capturing hundreds of different angles and perspectives over several hours. This process allowed her to capture multiple slices of time and space, rather than a single moment.

Unlike the fleeting, screen-bound images of the digital age, Dr. Hayashi's large-scale photo collages are physical objects that warp time and space. They demand in-person viewing for full appreciation, as they cannot be fully understood in a single glance. Composed of individual snapshot-sized photos, Hayashi created monumental works that reflect societal memory and disrupt the logic of documentary photos and space.

The final result is a work that requires the viewer to actively engage with it, piecing together the individual components to understand the whole. The viewer is made aware of the individual components and the fact that they have been assembled to create the whole. This interaction is a testament to Dr. Hayashi's exceptional vision and evolving spirit, and it is reflected in her timeless works of art, many of which are now housed in prestigious art museum collections worldwide, including the Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA).

This digital platform, powered by Gatsby 3 and featuring Material UI components, enables an interactive engagement with Dr. Hayashi's work. Users can zoom in and out on artwork details and the browser will use larger or smaller image files to support the view. Keyboard support enables quick access to artwork links by using 'tab', 'shift', and 'enter' to quickly discover and select additional works to view. Press 'escape' or click outside the drawer to close the navigation drawer.

© 2023, Masumi Hayashi Foundation