Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
Eikoh Hosoe was born in the Yamagata Prefecture of Japan in 1933. Today he remains one Japan's most important artists--not only for his own work but also as a teacher and as an ambassador fostering artistic exchange between Japan and the outside world. He is the founder and director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts and professor of photography at the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics. Hosoe lives in Tokyo and is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.
Published by Aperture. Text by Donald Keene, Shuzo Takiguchi.
An undisputed masterwork among Japanese photobooks, Eikoh Hosoe and Tatsumi Hijikata's Kamaitachi was originally released in 1969 as a limited edition of 1,000 copies. Hosoe, the renowned photographer, and Hijikata, the founder of ankoku butoh dance, had visited a farming village in northern Japan, where Hijikata improvised a performance inspired by the legend of a weasel-like demon named Kamaitachi. As Hosoe photographed Hijikata's spontaneous interactions with the landscape and with the people they encountered, the two artists together enacted an intense investigation of tradition and an exploration, both personal and symbolic, of contemporary convulsions in Japanese society. In 2005, Aperture published a limited-edition facsimile in homage to the original, in close consultation with the artist; now, they have made this enchanting body of work available in its first ever affordable trade edition, which was painstakingly reworked by renowned graphic artist Ikko Tanaka--the designer of the original volume--shortly before his death. His reinterpretation of this classic book object, which is truly a paragon of Japanese bookmaking, includes as a special bonus four never-before-published images from the classic Kamaitachi series. Eikoh Hosoe was born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, in 1933. He is an integral part of the history of modern Japanese photography, and remains a driving force not only for his own work, but also for his efforts as a teacher and ambassador, fostering artistic exchange between Japan and the outside world. Hosoe lives in Tokyo and is represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.
In the fall of 1961, the photographer Eikoh Hosoe, then in his late 20s, agreed to make a series of portraits of the controversial author Yukio Mishima. Hosoe visited Mishima at his home and was immediately intrigued by a marble mosaic of the zodiac in the middle of Mishima's lawn. Taking the rubber hose with which Mishima's father was watering the garden, Hosoe wrapped it around the half-naked writer (who had been sunbathing) and photographed him in various poses against the zodiac mosaic and around the grounds. They named their collaboration Barakei ("bara" meaning "rose" and "kei" meaning "punishment," although the two decided on Killed by Roses as the English title). The original edition, designed by Kohei Sugiura, established the standard for the two subsequent editions of 1971 (which chimed with Mishima's suicide) and 1985. Aperture now issues this facsimile of the 1963 original, making available once again one of the most infamous and intriguing photobooks of the twentieth century. This edition has been lovingly produced by the Japanese art shop NADiff, in close consultation with Eikoh Hosoe. It is published in a limited edition of 500 copies for Aperture and 500 for NADiff. Each copy is signed and numbered by the artist.
Published by Aperture. Afterword by Mark Holborn. Preface by Yukio Mishima.
Ba-ra-kei: Ordeal by Roses is a rare glimpse into the life of the great modern Japanese writer, Yukio Mishima, who ended his life in 1970 by ritual suicide. Many in Japan regarded the suicide as a sensational act. However, the publication of Mishima's final cycle of novels, which had been conceived eight years prior to his death, revealed that his death was carefully considered--a gesture of historical import in perfect accord with the morbid and esoteric aesthetic that pervades his writing. In 1961 Mishima asked Eikoh Hosoe to photograph him, giving him full artistic direction in making these surreal and alluring photographs. The props that surround the writer and the baroque interior of his home are antithetical to the pure Japanese sensibility of understatement and reveal Mishima's dark, theatrical imagination.
Published by Aperture. Photographs by Eikoh Hosoe.
To me photography can be simultaneously both a record and a “mirror” or “window” of self-expression. The camera is generally assumed to be unable to depict that which is not visible to the eye. And yet the photographer who wields it well can depict what lies unseen in his memory. --Eikoh Hosoe Eikoh Hosoe is an integral part of the history of modern Japanese photography. He remains a driving force in photography, not only for his own work, but also as a teacher and as an ambassador, fostering artistic exchange between Japan and the outside world. His influence has been felt in his native country and throughout the international photographic community.
Fans of Japanese culture, for a little more than the cost of the prix-fixe sushi dinner at New York restaurant Masa, you can own one of the classics of Japanese photography. More than 35 years after it first appeared, Kamaitachi, a long out-of-print masterwork by Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe, gets its first publication outside Japan. Not just a reprint but a recreation in collaboration with the photographer and in homage to the innovative original, this limited edition holds 40 black-and-white tritone images, each of which receives the scope of a gatefold. Slipcased and protected by a clamshell box, the book is not just a publication but an objet d'art in itself. Hosoe was known for pushing the boundaries of traditional photography through his interactions with important Japanese artists such as Butoh dancer Tasumi Hijikata and novelist Yukio Mishima. In Kamaitachi, he sought to recapture, with choreographic style, some of the lost landscapes and images of his childhood experience in the closing years of World War II.