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Megumi Kagurazaka and August - Nobuyoshi Araki

Galleries Galerie Alex Daniëls - Reflex Amsterdam

Weteringschans 79 A
1017 RX Amsterdam
info@reflexamsterdam.com
+31 (0)20 627 28 32

Open Tue - Sat / 11-18 hrs

12 Feb — 11 Apr

Time 12 Feb

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Parallel with this show, Araki's retrospective and his recent works are shown in FOAM Photography Museum of Amsterdam;
"ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the After Life: Alluring Hell"

Switch of gallery exhibition after March 11th: ARAKI: Original hand painted works "Alluring Hell"

 

Nobuyoshi Araki (Tokyo, 1940) is one of the most celebrated Japanese artists of our time. Ever since he started his photographic career in the mid-sixties, Araki has taken tens of thousands of photographs and published more than 450 photobooks. His photographs are personal, indifferent, random, accidental, prurient, erotic, anarchistic, touching, vulgar, sentimental. The cumulative effect is overwhelming. Araki is an international master of photography, noted for his seemingly detached Kinbaku-photographs; Kinbaku, 'the art of tight binding', is a Japanese style of rope bondage. Simultaneously his work is very intimate and personal, often closely related to his Tokyo surroundings and to the memories of the marriage with his late wife Yoko until her death in 1990. Only by distancing himself through his lens, keeping life at an arms length, the artist can truly approach reality and eventually reconcile life and death.

The exhibition in FOAM, ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the After Life: Alluring Hell is conceived in close collaboration with the artist. Nobuyoshi Araki is the starting point and so is the vision that he today has on his oeuvre. This is reflected in a careful selection out of his numerous important series. The title of the exhibition refers to the influential Japanese-Buddhist book Ōjōyōshū from 985 AD. It depicts heaven and hell, and inspires Arakiin his existential exploration of Life (Sex) and Death through photography. The balance of polarities is a major thread running through the exhibition, from the far-famed series Satchin and Sentimental Journey/Winter Journey, to the numerous photobooks, to the most recent photographs: banality and spirituality, light and shadow, reveal and disguise, fact and fiction, rationality and passion, creation and destruction, seduction and decay, life and death, paradise and hell.

Besides the series August and Megumi Kagurazaka, during the past months the 74-year-old Araki also worked on his new series qARADISE, which consists of dark photographs of flowers and dolls. Moreover, he has rediscovered his never exhibited series Alluring Hell from 2008, with erotic black-and-white photographs overpainted by Araki himself. Also an extensive collection of fading polaroids from the Impossible series is shown. These recent series set the tone of the exhibition; they mirror Araki's acceptance of, as well as his resistance to decline. While at first slightly alienating, in particular for the non-Japanese observer, both the individual images and the assembly of series may eventually bring about a feeling of transiency and melancholia - Araki's work has its very own, touching beauty. The exhibition allows the visitor to unravel the complexity and obsessions of a photographer of great international importance. Nobuyoshi Araki is the inspiration and starting point for the winter issue of Foam Magazine, which aims to examine his affect and influence on contemporary photography.

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