Nobuyoshi Araki “Love-Dream, Love-Nothing”

Taka Ishii Gallery Tokyo

poster for Nobuyoshi Araki “Love-Dream, Love-Nothing”
[Image: ©Nobuyoshi Araki, “Love-Dream, Love-Nothing” (2018) Gelatin silver print Image size: 42 x 53cm Paper size: 45.7 × 56cm]

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This solo exhibition– Araki’s twenty-sixth with Taka Ishii Gallery, though his first at the new Tokyo space in complex665 that opened in October 2016– presents 99 new works consisting mainly of monochromes captured on 6×7 film. Since the early 1970s, Araki has photographed extremely personal relationships with his subjects, releasing over the past half-century over 500 publications. He refers to his own photography as Shi-shashin, or the “I-Photograph”– a play on Shi-shosetsu, the “I-novel,” the literary form in which the narrative is from a subjective first-person perspective– holding that the I-photograph is the truest form of photography. It was in 1971 in the preface to Sentimental Journey, in effect his debut publication, that Araki first made this bold declaration, and this stance has underpinned his work ever since.

After the death of his beloved wife Yoko in 1990, Araki’s work became heavily imprinted with Eros (life/sexual desire) and Thanatos (death), presenting these two poles in an inextricable unity. His recent work has sublimated even the illnesses that have plagued him since the late 2000s and the creeping effects of old age on his mind and body, as the series of solo exhibitions in Japan and abroad in 2017 demonstrated. Last year’s prolific run of 20 exhibitions gives the image of an artist who is staring his own death in the face and is determined not to waste a moment of the time left to him. Inspired by his own creations to head away from death and toward life, Araki has kept up his tireless creative activities to this day.

The exhibited works were all captured on medium-format monochrome film. Though monochrome originally symbolized death for Araki, he began last year to see movement in monochrome photography, claiming “You can’t kill it. A photo has to show minute movements to the last.” His basic stance of insisting on using film illustrates his conviction that the love, sympathy, and emotion that he values in his photography can only be captured on emulsion-coated film.

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Schedule

from May 25, 2018 to June 23, 2018

Artist(s)

Nobuyoshi Araki

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