Category: Japanese Photography

Masahisa Fukase
Ravens

Consistently proclaimed as one of the most important photobooks in the history of the medium, Ravens by Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase was first published in 1986 and the two subsequent editions were both short print runs that sold out immediately. This bilingual facsimile of the first edition contains a new text by founder of the Masahisa Fukase Archives, Tomo Kosuga. His essay locates Ravens in Fukase’s wider work and life, and is illustrated with numerous recently discovered photographs and drawings. Fukase’s haunting series of work was made between 1975 and 1986 in the aftermath of a divorce and was apparently triggered by a mournful train journey to his hometown. The coastal landscapes of Hokkaido serve as the backdrop for his profoundly dark and impressionistic photographs of ominous flocks of crows, which are said to serve as an allegory for postwar Japan.

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Masahisa Fukase - Ravens
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Kiyoshi Koishi and Naniwa Shashin Club

Very scarce catalogue for the only major exhibition on Kiyoshi Koishi and Naniwa Shashin Club, held in 1988 at Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art and Seibu Contemporary Art Gallery.

Kiyoshi Koishi (March 26, 1908 – July 7, 1957) was one of the most prominent Japanese photographers in the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Osaka and became a member of Naniwa Shashin Club (浪華写真倶楽部, Naniwa Photography Club) in 1928.

In 1933 he published the monograph Shoka Shinkei (初夏神経, “Early Summer Nerves”), one of the most important works for Japanese modernist photography and one of the most sought after volumes. In this work, he used many photographic techniques such as photomontage and photograms, succeeding in creating surrealistic images. From 1938, he worked for the Japanese government in the magazine Shashin Shūhō (写真週報, “Photo Weekly”). And he became a war photographer of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Therefore, he was no longer able to produce avant-garde photo. After World War II, he continued to take many photographs. But tragically, he couldn’t leave the works from the effects of restricted activity due to the war. In 1957, Koishi died by accident, falling on the station platform in Moji, Fukuoka Prefecture.

Very rarely seen outside of Japan, and little printed document there either, this catalogue collects a valuable photographic history of Koishi’s stunning work, alongside the work of his fellow Naniwa Shashin Club members from 1921-1950.

* Condition: Very Good (light wear only) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Kiyoshi Koishi and Naniwa Shashin Club
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Japanese Photography in 1930s

Rare 1988 catalogue of exhibition “Japanese Photography in 1930s”, Sep. 10 – Oct. 30, 1988 at the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura.

Lavishly illustrated (just under 350 colour and black and white photo reproductions) catalogue surveying the incredible and diverse modern and avant-garde photographic work to come out of Japan during the 1930s (and early 1940s), including the work of Jun Watanabe, Ei-Q, Manshichi Sakamoto, Iwata Nakayama, Kiyoshi Koishi, Masaki Yamaguchi, Hiroshi Hamaya, Shoji Ueda, Hisashi Hisano, Wataru Takahashi, Keiichiro Goto, Kansuke Yamamoto, Tsugio Tajima, Minoru Sakata, Koro Honjo, Sutezo Otono, Kametaro Kawasaki, Bizan Ueda, Nakaji Yasui, Yoshio Tarui, Toshinobu Yano, Kiyoshi Koishi, Kiyoshi Nishiyama, Ori Umesaka, Roso Fukuhara, Shinzo Fukuhara, Yasuzo Nojima, Mitsugi Arima…
A very valuable volume for anyone interested in modern photography.
Comes with printed ad for exhibition inserted.

* Condition: Very Good (Clean and tight copy throughout, only light handling wear/age)  – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Japanese Photography in 1930s
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Kishin Shinoyama
Nude

“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.

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Nude by Kishin Shinoyama (1970)
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