The Look

Nobuyoshi Araki (Japanese, b.1940) is a prolific Contemporary Japanese photographer known for his diaristic capturing of everyday life. Born in Tokyo, Araki studied photography and film at Chiba University before working in advertising. He began to work exclusively as a photographer in 1972, and has since produced hundreds of photographic prints and books. Araki’s work documents the quotidian elements of life: clouds, flowers, vibrant karaoke bars, Japanese toys, Tokyo cityscapes, and images of ordinary people. He is perhaps most well known for his nude photos of women. Many of these oft-controversial nudes depict women tightly bound with ropes in the Japanese bondage style known as Kinbaku. Considered by some to be pornographic, these works draw upon the tradition of Japanese Shunga, woodblock prints from the 17th century.

Araki has also worked as a filmmaker, and has photographed musicians Bjork and Lady Gaga. His works are part of numerous collections, including the Tate Modern in London and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

About Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki is a prolific photographer who has produced thousands of photographs over the course of his career. He became famous for “Un Voyage Sentimental” (1971), a series of photos depicting both banal and deeply intimate scenes of his wife during their honeymoon. A number of his works feature young women in sexualized situations: “Kinbaku”, a series from 1979, features 101 photographs of women in rope bondage. He typically works in black-and-white photography, and his hallmark style is deliberately casual. “Rather than shooting something that looks like a professional photograph, I want my work to feel intimate, like someone in the subject’s inner circle shot them,” he says. More recently, Araki has been working on a series titled “Faces of Japan” (2009-) in which the artist photographs 500 to 1,000 people in each of Japan’s prefectures.

Japanese, b. 1940, Tokyo, Japan

Exhibition Highlights On Artsy

2016
Desire, Gagosian Gallery, Miami
2016
Shikijo: eroticism in Japanese photography, Blindspot Gallery, Wong Chuk Hang
2016
Araki, Musée national des arts asiatiques - Guimet, Paris
2014
ARAKI Ojo Shashu – Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam

Solo Shows on Artsy

2016
Araki, Hamiltons Gallery, London
2016
2015
Nobuyoshi Araki - Alluring Hell, Alex Daniels - Reflex Amsterdam, Amsterdam
2014
Nobuyoshi Araki : ​Painted Photographs, MARUANI MERCIER GALLERY, Knokke
2014
NOBUYOSHI ARAKI - Megumi Kagurazaka & August, Alex Daniels - Reflex Amsterdam, Amsterdam
2014
ARAKI Ojo Shashu – Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
Desire, Gagosian Gallery, Miami
2016
Shikijo: eroticism in Japanese photography, Blindspot Gallery, Wong Chuk Hang
2016
Araki, Musée national des arts asiatiques - Guimet, Paris
2016
Nobuyoshi Araki / Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong
2015
PIPE DREAM, Galerie Andrea Caratsch
2015
Up Close: Erotic Japanese Photography, Hong Kong Contemporary Art
2015
TASCHEN Collector's Editions, TASCHEN, Los Angeles
View Artist's CV