Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Araki Nobuyoshi


Araki Nobuyoshi

When Araki's wife died in 1991 he decided to publish photos of her in Sentimental Journey / Winter Journey.
The series includes pictures of their ten-year long marriage, during which time she was always his preferred model - from their honeymoon to her sick bed and death.

Araki once stated about these photos:

"After Yoko's death I wanted to photograph nothing but life. However, each time I pressed the trigger, I closed on death, for if you photograph, then you stop time. I want to tell you one thing, and listen well: Photography is murder."

Araki's nudes - despite their immanent directness and modern fragility - follow the tradition of the series of erotic wood-cuts of the Edo period (1615-1868) by Ukio-e and Utamaro (ArtLex article on Edo period). Araki himself reports:

"Basically, I have never been interested in tying up the body of a model. What I was aiming at was the female heart. That was what I wanted to lay in chains. In the course of time, if I can put it this way, the models have tied themselves up, have bound themselves to me ... I work using my entire bodily presence, I reproduce in my photos the space and the time between my models and myself ... The camera is a kind of seismograph here."

Araki's photos are mass produced, published in the form of pictorial series in magazines or photo monographs, reaching an audience of millions. His work paints, like no other artistic form of expression, a picture of contemporary Japanese society and urban life in Tokyo.





Short biography

1940 Born in Minowa, Japan

1959 - 63 Studies photography at Chiba University, Tokyo

1964 First 16 mm film project

1963 - 72 Working for Dentsu ad agency

Published Work (selection):

1973 "Tokyo"
1977 "Tokyo Blues"
1984 "Tokyo Autumn"
1987 "Diary Tokyo"
1989 "Tokyo Story"
1989 "Tokyo Nude"
1991 "Winter Journey"
1992 "Nude-Tokyo"
1993 "Love You Tokyo"
1995 "Tokyo Novella"


Official website