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Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1940, in Tokyo, Japan.

Photographer.

Nobuyoshi Araki became interested in photography at a young age. His father was an amateur photographer, and in 1952 the artist received his first camera. In 1964, at the age of 24, Araki won the Taiyo Prize for his photo series ...

Article

Iizawa Kohtaro

(b Tokyo, May 25, 1940).

Japanese photographer. He graduated from the engineering department of Chiba University in 1963 and in the same year received the Taiyō prize for Satchin (Tokyo, 1964), a photographic series whose title was the pet name of a little girl. In 1971 he published the privately printed photographic collection Senchimentaru na tabi (‘Sentimental journey’; Tokyo, 1971) in which his own private life, in particular his wedding and honeymoon, was displayed in diary form. At first glance they seem to be naive records but in fact are staged. He also gave a performance in 1972 called the Super-Photo concert in which these photographs were reproduced on a photocopier, bound and sent, as a collection, by post. He later became very popular through photographs that skilfully anticipated public demand, accompanied by essays written in a risqué style. A prolific worker, he published many collections of essays and photographs, including Otoko to onna no aida ni wa shashinki ga aru...

Article

Italo Zannier

British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, Moniteur de la photographie (1 June 1886), in which he explains that he is not the producer of the exotic photographs recently exhibited in London, mention of which had been made in the Moniteur of 10 March; the photographer was instead ‘[his] brother Monsieur Felice Beato of Japan’....

Article

(b New Orleans, LA, March 15, 1873; d New Orleans, 1949).

American photographer. Bellocq is known to have worked as a commercial photographer in New Orleans from 1895 to 1940 and to have photographed for local shipbuilders and in the Chinese sector of New Orleans, although none of this work apparently survives. His photography is known only through prints made by Lee Friedlander from the 89 gelatin dry plate negatives found after Bellocq’s death. These negatives date from c. 1912 and are sympathetic portraits of prostitutes of New Orleans and interior views of their workplaces. Known as the Storyville Portraits, 34 were shown by MOMA, New York, in a travelling exhibition in 1970–71. Bellocq’s life was the subject of Pretty Baby (1978), a film by Louis Malle.

E. J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits: Photographs from the New Orleans Red-light District, circa 1912 (exh. cat. by J. Szarkowski and L. Friedlander, New York, MOMA, 1970)G. Badger: ‘Viewed’, British Journal of Photography...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Japan and the USA.

Born 8 December 1957, in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province).

Painter, draughtsman, mixed media, video artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Cai Guo-Qiang trained in stage design at the Shanghai drama institute from 1981 to 1985...

Article

Cao Fei  

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1978, in Guangzhou, China.

Photographer, performance artist. Video, multimedia.

Cao Fei graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2001, having attended middle school at the same institution four years earlier. She was a co-founder of the partnership Ou Ning + Cao Fei. Her early photography and subsequent interactive sound and video-game environments, or ‘machinima’, emerged from her initial interest in commercial advertising and electronic entertainment videos. Her works often blur reality by involving virtual cosplay figures who imitate manga superhero figures, often artist friends or youths. These performances take place in the urban environment and engage the art world with virtual economies, as well as linking to the rapid modernization and consumerism emerging within China since the turn of the century. She has become known for her ongoing experimental, animated, ethnographic documentary that engages the online world of Second Life to create the virtual RMB City. The video was first shown at the Venice Biennale (China Tracy Pavilion, ...

Article

British-Chinese, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Born 1977, in Hong Kong.

Installation artist, film-maker. Multimedia, video.

Suki Chan spent her early childhood in Hong Kong’s rural district of the New Territories, before emigrating with her family to Oxford, England, at the age of six. Despite the difficulties of adjusting to a second language and culture and having at times a sense of displacement, she went on to study at London’s Goldsmiths’ College, from which she graduated in ...

Article

Kohtaro Iizawa

(b Sakata, Oct 25, 1909; d Sept 15, 1990).

Japanese photographer. He wanted to be a painter but in 1933, feeling his talent to be limited, he became a technician in the Kōtarō Miyauchi Photography Studio in Tokyo, where he studied the techniques of portrait photography. In 1935 he joined the staff of the Nippon Kōbō (‘Japan studio’) agency, headed by Yōnosuke Natori, and took photographs for Nippon, a magazine designed to provide an introduction to Japanese culture for foreigners. In 1939 he left and began to photograph examples of traditional Japanese culture, such as bunraku (‘puppet theatre’) and the Buddhist temple Murōji near Nara. At the same time he began to take portraits of cultural figures such as painters, writers, and musicians. He received the first ARS photography cultural award in 1943. From 1950 he became a judge of the monthly contest in the photography magazine Camera (Tokyo) and his advocacy of ‘realism photography’ was very influential on amateur photographers. His method of documenting the contradictions of society as directly as possible was perfected in the two collections ...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

[Sugita, Hideo]

(b Miyazaki Prefect., April 28, 1911; d Tokyo, March 10, 1960).

Japanese photographer, painter, printmaker and critic. In 1925 he entered the department of yōga (Western-style painting) at the Japanese School of Art in Tokyo. In 1926 he began writing art criticism and in 1927 he left the School, going on in 1930 to study at the School of Oriental Photography, Tokyo. In 1934 he returned to Miyazaki and studied Esperanto, going back two years later to Tokyo; thereafter he rejected his real name of Hideo Sugita in favour of his pseudonym, which was suggested by Saburō Hasegawa. His first exhibition, a one-man show of photograms (Tokyo, 1936), was based on drawings that used photographic paper. His collection of photograms, Nemuri no riyū, was also published in 1936. In 1937 he was a founder-member of the Jiyū Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Independent Art Society) and in Osaka, of the Demokurāto Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Democratic Art Society); from then on he produced etchings, also making lithographs from ...

Article

Cao Fei  

Mia Yinxing Liu

(b Guangzhou, 1978).

Chinese multimedia artist, photographer, and filmmaker. Even before graduating from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2000, Cao was recognized and anticipated as being among the vanguard of “young artists” in China. In 2004 she made Cosplayers, a video and photo series in which teenagers dressed up as videogame characters and engaged in combat anime style in Cao’s native city, Guangzhou. They partook in random activities while costumed—emerging from the subway, walking in traffic, eating noodles in front of televisions in their modest and “real” homes. Fantasy and reality were powerfully juxtaposed, yet they did not persuade or permeate each other. Cao continued this interest in urban youth culture in her Hip Hop Series in 2005. In Whose Utopia (2006), she shifted her attention to migrant workers in her native Pearl River Delta region, the ground-zero of the Chinese manufacturing empire. In this film, migrant workers acted out their fantasies among machines in their industrial plants. Similar to ...