Yutaka Takanashi, ‘Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku-ku, from the series "Toshi-e"’, 1965, PRISKA PASQUER

Yutaka Takanashi was one of the co-founders of the legendary "Provoke" group which revolutionized Japanese photography at the end of the 1960s. Other members of this group included Daido Moriyamya – the subject of two exhibitions by Galerie Priska Pasquer – and Takuma Nakahira.

In 1974 Takanashi published his first book “Toshi-e” (Towards the City), which is regarded as a masterpiece of the Provoke era.
While the mid 1960s urban images of the city of Tokyo in "Toshi-e" still bear the hallmarks of subjective documentary photography, the landscape shots are wholly in the radical "Provoke" style, characterized in Japan as “are, bure, boke” – rough, blurred and out of focus.

With this rough, fleeting and highly expressive imagery, Takanashi and the other members of the "Provoke" group finally broke with the aesthetic of “photography as reportage” and its underlying notion that photography is capable of creating an authentic image of reality.

About Yutaka Takanashi

Since the formative days of the iconoclastic 1960s Tokyo art scene, photographer Yutaka Takanashi has documented the dramatic changes in the city’s rapid urbanization through images taken as he’s peripatetically navigated its streets. As one of the founding members of PROVOKE (1968), an extremely influential avant-garde photography and criticism magazine (along with the likes of Daido Moriyama), Takanashi is best known for his dismissal of framing and shooting conventions, often snapping without the viewfinder or submitting images that embraced the look of “aré, buré, boké” (grainy, blurred, and out of focus). In addition to his street and fashion photography, Takanashi captured the intersection point between the influx of western commercial imagery and the germination of Japan’s domestic pop culture in unpeopled studies of Japanese architecture and streets.

Japanese, b. 1935, Tokyo, Japan