Featuring the erotically charged works of Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, and Nobuyoshi Araki “Up Close,” an exhibition by Hong Kong Contemporary Art (HOCA) Foundation, presents sexual experience as a metaphor for life in relation to Japanese photography’s shift towards candidness, s
Their work uses the medium as a substitute for experience rather than documentation. The explicit eroticism in these photographs is an affirmation of Eros (“life/sex”) and memory in an alienated postwar society, and exemplifies a new outlook on the role of the individual in photography. Hosoe, Moriyama, and Araki are undoubtedly some of the most well-known Japanese photographers of the late twentieth century. Japan’s photography scene had no fixed ideology or style during this postwar period, rather the photographers searched for a means of individual expression by exploring the role of the photograph itself. How does the subject matter relate the object to the viewer, and can the object be a substitute for the actual experience? In the end it seems that the artist can best relate to their audience through a universal experience. Sex might be viewed as a vulgar or obscene topic by some, but it is an act that reminds us of our natural state, that brings life, and lets us forget the pressures of contemporary society.