Kohei Yoshiyuki
Japanese, born 1946
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Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
Intimacy,
Yossi Milo Gallery
2017
Acts of Intimacy: The Erotic Gaze in Japanese Photography,
The Walther Collection
2016
Shikijo: eroticism in Japanese photography,
Blindspot Gallery

While working as a commercial photographer in Tokyo, Kohei Yoshiyuki took a nighttime stroll through a public park, stumbling across what would become the subject of the strange, disturbing series for which he is famous: couples having sex and the moth-like voyeurs who watch them. Titled “The Park” (1970s), this series of black-and-white photographs was shot with a handheld camera and infrared film. Raw and grainy, the photographs capture the voyeurs from behind, as they surreptitiously approach the couples. The voyeurs-eye view implicates Yoshiyuki, viewers of his work, and photography itself in this violation of privacy. “My intention was to capture what happened in the parks, so I was not a real ‘voyeur’,” he explains. “But I think…the act of taking photographs itself is voyeuristic somehow. So I may be a voyeur, because I am a photographer.”