Nobuyoshi Araki: COLOURSCAPES

February 02, 2022 - March 25, 2022


Yoshii Gallery is pleased to announce its exhibition COLOURSCAPES, opening February 2nd, 2022.  The show will feature seven works by the renowned photographer Nobuyoshi Araki as well as 500 polaroids shot by the artist between 2003 and 2006.

Nobuyoshi Araki is a prolific Japanese photographer whose monumental oeuvre ranges from picturesque snapshots of day-to-day minutiae to graphic and sexualized images.  Araki works primarily in his hometown of Tokyo, using a range of cameras to explore various themes that exist within his city.  Such themes include the connections and contradictions between love and sex, industry and nature, chaos and emptiness.

In this exhibition, images from his Colourscapes series are displayed with an extensive selection of polaroids taken by the artist.  Polaroids serve as an important aspect of Araki’s practice, allowing him to instantly test out a particular shot or subject before taking a picture on traditional film.  He never uses digital cameras, which would otherwise allow the artist to preview an image before printing it.  Beyond their practical use, the polaroids are also works of art in themselves. The content of these images includes subjects as varied as sweeping skyscapes, graphic images of bondage, and snapshots of his beloved cat, Chiro. The Colourscapes capture subjects similar to those of the polaroids, expanded to a larger scale.  They focus primarily on the subjects of women and flowers, evoking themes of sexuality and desire, both literal and symbolic.

Born in 1940 to parents who ran a sandal shop in Tokyo, Araki began pursuing photography from a young age.  He entered Chiba University in 1959, where he majored in photography and cinema.  After graduating in 1963, he joined Dentsu advertising agency, where he worked as a commercial photographer until 1972.  Finding this work very limiting, he began to experiment with more provocative subjects, and has since emerged as one of Japan’s most controversial artists.  He has published over 500 books and has exhibited all over the world.  His work is held in many museum collections, including those of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Tate in London, and the Art Institute of Chicago.