Eikoh Hosoe: Photographic Scrolls

23 April - 31 May 2011

Eikoh Hosoe: Photographic Scrolls


Eikoh Hosoe was born in 1933 in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. He is currently the Director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts.


For the last half a century, Hosoe has devoted himself to photographic activities and he has become one of the most internationally renowned Japanese photographers. At age eighteen, he won an important Japanese photography prize, which encouraged him to become a photographer. When he was young, Hosoe had extensive contact with the world of art and culture. At that time in Japan, photography was generally regarded as a documentary and reporting tool. It was in this environment that Hosoe began his explorations into the expression of internal consciousness.     


Men and Women wasthe first of Hosoe’s series from the 1960s series to be shown. In it, he used the body as an object, expressing the relationship between the sexes, full of contradictions, conflicts, and mutual attraction and repulsion.


In 1963, he released Ordeal by Roses (Bara-kei), which features famous writer Yukio Mishima. Against a Baroque background, Hosoe created aesthetic images that transcend the individual.    


These two series represent the independent aesthetic of Hosoe’s bodily expression; they had a significant impact on the world of international photography. 

This exhibition presents two series created in the 1960s, reprinted using new techniques, giving old works a brand-new vitality.


Photographic Scroll: Erotic Ukiyo-e Projections was taken at Asbestos Hall, the studio of dancer Tatsumi Hijikata at the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003. Asbestos Hall, located in Tokyo’s Meguro District, closed in 2003.


Hanako Motofuji projected the works of ukiyo-e masters Utamaro, Hokusai, Jyakuchu, and Harunobu onto the bodies of dancers such as Kazuo Oono, thereby turning two-dimensional prints into three-dimensional and even four-dimensional space within a work of photography.


These works mediate the beauty of Japanese color design and the strength of photographers’ images.