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ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell
qARADISE, 2014 © Courtesy Nobuyoshi Araki in collaboration with Galerie Alex Daniëls – Reflex Amsterdam

Nobuyoshi Araki »

ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell

Exhibition: 19 Dec 2014 – 11 Mar 2015

Thu 18 Dec 17:30

foam

Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam
Sat-Wed 10-18 . Thu, Fri 10-21

Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam

+31 (0)20-5516500


www.foam.org

Sat-Wed 10-18 . Thu, Fri 10-21

ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell
Alluring Hell, 2008 © Nobuyoshi Araki in collaboration with Galerie Alex Daniëls – Reflex Amsterdam

ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell
Opening 18 December from 5.30 pm onwards

Foam is proud to present a major solo exhibition of the famous Japanese photographer Araki. 'ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell' gives a distinct reflection on Araki's oeuvre, renowned for the master's perpetual focus on daily life and his intertwining themes of Life (Sex) and Death. The exhibition comprises both his notorious early work, as well as very recent series that have never been shown in the Netherlands before. The exhibition offers a unique and intimate insight into the perspective of an artist in the dusk of his life.

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.

ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell
From the series Sentimental Journey, 1971 © Nobuyoshi Araki

ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: 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 Araki in 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.

During the past months, the 74-year-old Araki 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 transciency 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.

The exhibition is made in cooperation with Galerie Alex Daniëls / Reflex

ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell
qARADISE, 2014 © Courtesy Nobuyoshi Araki in collaboration with Galerie Alex Daniëls – Reflex Amsterdam
ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell
Alluring Hell, 2008 © Nobuyoshi Araki in collaboration with Galerie Alex Daniëls – Reflex Amsterdam
ARAKI Ojo Shashu - Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell
Sentimental Journey/Spring Journey, 2010 © Courtesy Nobuyoshi Araki