Published by Radius Books/Yossi Milo. Introduction by Yossi Milo. Text by Vince Aletti. Interview by Nobuyoshi Araki.
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.
Published by Hatje Cantz/Yossi Milo. Edited by Yossi Milo. Interview by Nobuyoshi Araki. Text by Vince Aletti.
Kohei Yoshiyuki's nighttime photographs, taken with infrared film and flash in Japan's Shinjuku, Yoyogi and Aoyama Parks during the 1970s, capture the illicit sexual encounters, both heterosexual and homosexual, that frequently occurred there under the cloak of darkness. The Park's images not only reveal hidden sexual exploits but also uncover many spectators ardently lurking in the darkness, waiting to join in--and quickly raise issues of voyeurism and surveillance. In The Photobook: A History, Volume II, Martin Parr speaks to the societal relevance of this series, calling it, "A brilliant piece of social documentation, catching perfectly the loneliness, sadness and desperation that so often accompany sexual or human relationships in a big, hard metropolis like Tokyo." As exhibition organizer and editor Yossi Milo writes in his introduction, "With each viewing, I noticed something that had eluded me before: the photos' rigorous compositions…They are provocative photographs, and unsettling as well: one is both chilled and thrilled by Yoshiyuki's boldness, by how close he crept to his unaware subjects, by the hours he spent late at night crouched in bushes and against trees, waiting for his perfect shot." Originally published as Document Kouen in Japan in 1980 and long out of print, the austere and acclaimed first edition of this book now commands prices near $1,000 per copy. This new, updated edition, featuring an interview with the artist by colleague Nobuyoshi Araki and an essay by the noted photo critic Vince Aletti, contains all 60 works from the infamous Park series, reproduced from new scans in deluxe duotones. This work has not been seen by the public since the 1970s and has been known only to cult collectors until now. Exhibited at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York in September of 2007, it was one of the most talked-about offerings of the season.