Nobuyoshi Araki is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist.
This Art Edition is limited to only 50 copies, each numbered and signed by Nobuyoshi Araki. This edition includes three volumes, enticingly hand-bound in the Japanese tradition and packaged in a wooden box, featuring Araki’s selection of his favorite bondage photos from over his entire career.
He’s been called a genius and a poet, and also a misogynist, a pornographer, a monster, but Araki’s work transcends simplistic moralistic classifications; he has said of his work: “There is no conclusion. It’s completely open. It doesn’t go anywhere.” Whether literally or figuratively, his bound subjects are certainly immobilized, yet in the most tantalizing ways.
In western eyes, Japan has been the very model of the other, although it remains unclear to what extent the reverse is also true. Araki’s art should actually fall within this category of the other for we know that the photographer rarely leaves Tokyo, that he did not attend a western university and that he speaks only Japanese. Yet his work achieves precisely the opposite effect. We gain the insistent impression that these pictures are addressed “to us” – not in the sense that they are images or reflections of western culture – like the parodies of western art and cinema found in the travesties of the Japanese photographer Morimura – but because they operate according to rules developed within western “modernist” discourse.