Nobuyoshi Araki is a prolific photographer who has produced thousands of photographs over the course of his career. He became famous for “Un Voyage Sentimental” (1971), a series of photos depicting both banal and deeply intimate scenes of his wife during their honeymoon. A number of his works feature young women in sexualized situations: “Kinbaku”, a series from 1979, features 101 photographs of women in rope bondage. He typically works in black-and-white photography, and his hallmark style is deliberately casual. “Rather than shooting something that looks like a professional photograph, I want my work to feel intimate, like someone in the subject’s inner circle shot them,” he says. More recently, Araki has been working on a series titled “Faces of Japan” (2009-) in which the artist photographs 500 to 1,000 people in each of Japan’s prefectures.
Araki completed his studies at Chiba University’s Department of Photography, Printing and Engineering with a focus on the study of film and photography. His photographic project “Satchin” earned him the prestigious Taiyo Award in 1964, shortly after he had joined the advertising agency Dentsu, where he worked until 1972. At Dentsu he met his wife Yoko, to whom he paid homage in Sentimental Journey, a photographic record of their honeymoon published in 1971. Eros and thanatos (sex and death) has been a central theme in Araki’s work; an abiding fascination with female genitalia and women’s bodies in Japanese bondage, flowers, food, his cat, faces and Tokyo street scenes. His solo exhibitions include “Araki”, Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, Paris (2016); “Ōjō Shashū: Photography for the Afterlife – Faces, Skyscapes, Roards”, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art (2014); “Nobuyoshi Araki Photobook Exhibition: Arākī”, IZU PHOTO MUSEUM, Shizuoka (2012); “NOBUYOSHI ARAKI: Self, Life, Death”, The Barbican Art Gallery, London (2005); “Hana- Jinsei”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2003); “Tokyo Still Life”, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2001); “Nobuyoshi Araki”, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent (2000); “ARAKI Nobuyoshi Sentimental Photography, Sentimental Life”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1999); “Tokyo Comedy”, Wiener Secession, Vienna (1997); “Journal intime”, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (1995); “Akt-Tokyo: Nobuyoshi Araki 1971-1991″, Forum Stadtpark, Graz (1992). Araki was a recipient of the Austrian Decoration of Honor for Science and Arts (2008) and the 54th Mainichi Art Award (2012).