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Kishin Shinoyama

“One of the most important Japanese photobooks ever published” – Kaneko & Vartanian, “Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s”.

A first edition of this famous colour and b&w nude photo-book by the extraordinary Japanese photographer Kishin Shinoyama. This over-sized book collects an iconic group of Shinoyama’s early nude photographs including “Death Valley”, “Twin”, “Brown Lily”, “Maki & Sinatra”, “Phantom” and “Tokyo Fairy”.
In 1970, his exhibition NUDE – Kishin Shinoyama, which focused around his work in Death Valley, drew great attention and praise for its challenging images of the female form, and the fame of ‘Shinoyama of the Nudes’ was assured. Beautifully reproduced in here for the first time in 1970, Shinoyama’s Nude continues to be one of the most influential photo books published.

“Chapters focus either on a particular model or set of models identified by name or the exploration of a particular theme.  Within this context, Shinoyama’s choice of nude poignantly balances a personal and private exploration with the public realm…  Shinoyama totally changed the look of the nude model, until then generally a large-chested woman with curvy hips.  Instead, Shinoyama photographed a variety of regular girls…  Compared to Hosoe’s nudes in “Man and woman”, Shinoyama’s images are very corporeal, reminiscent of Araki’s photographs of his wife Yoko.  While “28 Girls” broke sharply from the traditional treatment of the nude as an ideal of beauty, it had a pop feeling and very image-based sensibility.  Shinoyama took this idea to an extreme in “Nude”.  In the section “Death Valley.” shot in the wide-open vistas of America’s desert land, a terrain with a scope inconceivable in Japan, he eschews all narrative structure in a totally image-driven body of photography.  The strong light and Shinoyama’s framing made the ground’s surface resemble the surface of the moon – a moon populated by nude women.  In “Phantom,” special effects adulterate the color photography, using the nude to address a near-future vision of the city.  “Tokyo Fairy” plays with “visual scandal,” placing nudes within everyday scenes.” — Kaneko & Vartanian, Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 70s, p102-107

Kishin Shinoyama was born in 1940, in Tokyo, Japan. He embarked on his career while studying in the Department of Photography at Nippon University, and was awarded the Advertising Photographer’s Association prize, among others. After being employed at the Light Publicity advertising company, he started to work as a freelance photographer in 1968. His work is acclaimed for the portraits of the most famous celebrities of our day and age, such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Rie Miyazawa, and other major personalities. In his “Gekisha” and “Shinorama” series, he carries on capturing the times using new forms of expression and new technologies. He is also an exponent of solarization and has used it to challenge preconceived ideas of beauty and the nude.

* Condition: Good (general light wear to edges, light tanning from age and corner bumping with small crease to top corner of back cover, otherwise a bright, tightly bound copy) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

Nude by Kishin Shinoyama (1970)
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