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Nobuyoshi Araki Biography

Japanese photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki, is primarily known for his provocative images that combine fine art and photography. Working primarily in black and white photography, the subjects of his work range from food and flowers to Tokyo street scenes. Much of his work refers to Japanese cultural traditions. This is seen in his series, Kinbaku (1979), which features a multitude of photographs of young women in sexual positions, inspired by the Japanese art of rope-tying. Araki has gone on to photograph female musicians such as Bjork and Lady Gaga.

His love of photography began at an early age, whilst at infant school in Japan. He saw this through, developing his skills at Chiba University, where he studied film and photography. Following the repercussions of the end of World War Two, his work responded to the rapid commercial growth in Japan. Alongside popular culture, Araki’s work is heavily influenced by his personal life. He acclaimed fame for his series of photographs in 1971, Un Voyage Sentimental, a series of intimate images of his wife on their honeymoon. He also published Winter Journey in 1991, which documents the final days of her death.

Araki became a key figure in the art world in Japan, after receiving the Taiyo Award in 1964 for his photography project about a boy called Satchin. He has been featured in galleries internationally at many solo exhibitions and contemporary art shows including The Cartier Foundation, Paris (1995), and Contemporary Japanese Art, Hayward Gallery in 2001.

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