Eikoh Hosoe, ‘Barakei: Ordeal by Roses #34’, 1962, Yodo Gallery

About Eikoh Hosoe

Enmeshed in the postwar Japanese ferment, Eikoh Hosoe picked up a camera at 15 and became one of the foremost photographers of his time, producing searing, surreal, expressionistic images focused on the human body and the human being. “To me photography can be simultaneously both a record and a ‘mirror’ or ‘window’ of self-expression,” he says. “The camera is generally assumed to be unable to depict that which is not visible to the eye. And yet the photographer who wields it well can depict what lies unseen in his memory.” Together with Shomei Tomatsu and other contemporaries, he founded the VIVO agency (1959-61), propagating a new approach to photography. While others documented street life in Japan’s ravaged cities, Hosoe worked mainly in his studio, making raw images of the body, which aimed to penetrate beyond the skin to capture the heart and mind.

Japanese, b. 1933, Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan