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Kohei Yoshiyuki: The Park
Introduction by Yossi Milo. Text by Vince Aletti. Interview by Nobuyoshi Araki.
“A brilliant piece of social documentation, capturing perfectly the loneliness, sadness and desperation that so often accompany sexual or human relationships." –Martin Parr, The Photobook
A New York Times Book Review 2019 holiday gift guide pick
For his notorious Park photos, taken at night in Tokyo’s Shinjuku, Yoyogi and Aoyama parks during the 1970s, Kohei Yoshiyuki used a 35mm camera, infrared film and flash to capture a secret community of lovers and voyeurs. His pictures document the people who gathered in these parks at night for clandestine trysts, as well as the many spectators lurking in the bushes who watched—and sometimes participated in—these couplings.
With their raw, snapshot-like quality, these images not only uncover the hidden sexual exploits of their subjects, both same-sex and heterosexual, but they also serve as a chronicle of a Japan we rarely see. As Martin Parr writes in The Photobook: A History, Volume II, The Park is “a brilliant piece of social documentation, capturing perfectly the loneliness, sadness and desperation that so often accompany sexual or human relationships in a big, hard metropolis like Tokyo.”
This newly designed, comprehensive edition of Kohei Yoshiyuki: The Park brings this collectible classic back into print with eight never-before-seen images, as well as documentation of the Japanese zines that predated the 2007 Hatje Cantz/Yossi Milo edition.
Japanese photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki (born 1946) first came to prominence with the 1979 debut of his Park photos at the Komei Gallery, Tokyo. Yoshiyuki had his first exhibition outside of Japan at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York in 2007. His photos are held in collections worldwide, including the Brooklyn Museum, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Swedish Arts Council, Stockholm; and Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. An accompanying exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the Park series will be held at Yossi Milo Gallery, NY, in 2020.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Kohei Yoshiyuki: The Park.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
L'Oeil de la Photographie
The Park is a unique contribution to the annals of Japanese post-war photography, capturing that brief, weird liminal period of the country’s history, its awkward adolescence between the bleak sixties, a decade of loss and defeat, and the eighties, when Japan once again seemed on the verge of ruling the world.
The Art Gorgeous
While seeming to cast a light on secret behavior, [the photographs in The Park] reveal the yearning that exists in voyeurism, the melancholy in desire.
Yoshiyuki’s cultishly popular work sits somewhere between Brassaï’s Parisians by night, Weegee’s infrared pictures of amorous moviegoers and Sophie Calle’s photographic explorations of surveillance.
By transforming viewers into participants, Yoshiyuki layered transgression upon transgression to thrilling effect, his photographs just as thrilling now as they were then.
Deeply strange, utterly compelling, grotesque, funny and, at times, quite frightening, the pictures in The Park explore a flourishing urban underworld that conservative 1970s Japanese society was not fully prepared to face.
New York Times: Book Review
From 1971 to 1973, Kohei Yoshiyuki visited two Tokyo parks at night, looking for couples who went there to have sex...Yoshiyuki...compels us to become another link in his chain of watchers.
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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/21/2019
Featured image is reproduced from The Park, Radius Books and Yossi Milo's beautiful new edition of the cult 1970s photobook by Kohei Yoshiyuki. A collection of "voyeuristic photographs of people having sex, and of voyeurs—peepers—watching people having sex, with infrared film," in the words of Noboyushi Araki, the photographs are truly shocking and mesmerizing. "Some of the more well-attended gatherings recall photographs of seances from the turn of the last century," Vince Aletti writes. "But instead of staring wide-eyed at a levitating body, table or chair floating in mid-air, the participants' attention is directed to something writhing on the ground. There's a similar current of excitement in the air—electric, sulphurous, a little frightening—and an anticipation so acute it's almost deranged. It's not the sex in Yoshiyuki's photographs that's shocking, it's the reckless, frantic fascination of the voyeurs—men so possessed that, for the moment, nothing else exists or matters—and the sense that we've all been there." continue to blog
RADIUS BOOKS/YOSSI MILO
USD $150.00 | CAN $200 UK £ 120
Pub Date: 10/21/2019
Active | In stock
RADIUS BOOKS/YOSSI MILO
USD $60.00 | CAN $85 UK £ 53
Pub Date: 8/20/2019
Active | In stock