Nobuyoshi Araki is an infuriating beast whose depictions of women are alarming. Nobuyoshi Araki is a chronicler of gentle empathy whose sensitivity is pathologically tender. Both reactions are valid when considering the prolific artist whose embrace of dichotomy has made him a legend the world over as simply “Araki.”
Sex and death – Erotos, in an Araki portmanteau of Eros and Thanatos – have energized six decades of work that began in childhood while playing in a temple cemetery where courtesans’ corpses were once discarded. They are the dualism binding explicit shibari bondage images of implicit domination to disarmingly tender studies of his most important subject, his late wife Yoko Araki.
In these 30 images specially curated for Leica Gallery Bangkok, Araki adds to his lifework of shishashin, or I-photography, an intimate documentary study of the artist’s own life in close proximity to others. Fans will find them veined with signature Araki – familiar faces and places – but present in the moment. All were shot on his beloved Leica M7.
Some of the women he’s photographed for decades appear like old friends. In others, the almost journalistic depiction of the 79-year-old artist’s life finds entropy taking root in his fantastic rooftop vistas. But not everything is rotten, for amid the decay, new life can be found winking into existence.
One is left with the impression the story is yet unfinished.
Nobuyoshi Araki - Life by Film
- 26/08/2019 - 27/11/2019
Leica Gallery Bangkok
2nd Floor Gaysorn Village
999 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan
Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm