Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki (born 1940 in Tokyo, Japan) studied photography and film at Chiba University in Tokyo and initially worked as a commercial photographer for the Dentsu company.
Central to Nobuyoshi Araki’s life and work were two events in the late 1960s: the death of his father and meeting his future wife, Yoko Aoki. He photographed their honeymoon trip through Japan extensively in 1971, resulting in Sentimental Journey, now considered one of the most important Japanese photography books of the 20th century. He left Dentsu one year later and began working as a freelance photographer.
Since 1970, Araki has published over 500 books and his work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions. Today, he is one of Japan’s most important and prolific contemporary photographers.
Araki is best known for his provocative and controversial nude photographs, most notably his erotically charged images created in the tradition of “kinbaku,” a form of bondage in Japan. Beyond this, however, Araki’s oeuvre encompasses a wide variety of subjects, including artificial still lifes, plant images, documentary depictions of everyday life, architectural photography, and diary-like photographs of himself and his late wife Yoko.
Araki refers to his work as “first-person photography” in reference to the “first-person novel,” which is often written in the first person. With his radical focus on his own life and experiences, he opposed the documentary photography aesthetic that had been prevalent in Japanese avant-garde photography since the late 1960s. In his series Pseudo-Reportage (1980), he explores these approaches and the problem of photographic authenticity.
Nobuyoshi Araki experiments with media such as collage, film, and, more recently, Polaroid instant-image technology, which occupies a special place in his work. Taking daily photographs with his Polaroid 600, Araki addresses themes such as “love, sexuality, and attraction, but stages them in an endless, metaphysical struggle with the mortality that is always inherent in all existence.”[1] His best-known series include Flower, Arakimono, Kinbaku, Kirishin and Paradise.

[1] Stephan Reisner in: (Status: 26 July 2022)

Polaroid books

Nobuyoshi Araki. Pola-Evacy
Shobunsha, Tokyo 2000
ISBN-10: 4794964366
ISBN-13: 978-4794964366

Nobuyoshi Araki. KEKKAI
Eyesencia 2014

Nobuyoshi Araki. Polarnography
by Filippo Maggia
Skira; Bilingual 2019
ISBN-10: ‎8857234886
ISBN-13: ‎978-8857234885