The world-renowned photographer Nobuyoshi Araki is a rare talent of the Japanese photography world; from start to finish the way in which he captures subjects and emotion is quite controversial. Yet behind the gorgeous colors of passion and glamor lies an endless sadness stored within the artist.
In 1971, Araki took his wife Yoko Araki on their honeymoon, during which he created the series of photographs Sentimental Journey, a personal portrait that firmly established his individual vision as a photographer. “Sentimental Journey is my love, and also an act of determination on my part as a photographer. I photographed my honeymoon trip, so these are realist photographs.” One could say that with this sentiment, Araki stepped on to the path of art. In the subsequent series Spring Journey, and Winter Journey he photographed the passing of his wife Yoko and the death of his beloved cat Chiro with grief and mourning. Chiro, who for the past 22 years posed for her beloved owner and photographer Araki, passed away on March 2, 2010. In human years, she lived to be about 105 years old. “No woman has showed as much love for me as Chiro did,” says Araki of his cat, who was the apple of his eye, always there to support him especially after his wife Yoko sadly passed away before her time. Today, 20 years after the death of Yoko, Araki is once again forced to deal with the painful hardship of losing a loved one. Through his photographs, he narrates a story of how “life is a journey” composed of the everyday moments that flow between life and death.His flat visual angle and technique clearly describe another side of Araki.