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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

Kohtaro Iizawa

(b Kumamoto, Dec 14, 1889; d Tokyo, Feb 8, 1960).

Japanese photographer. He learnt photographic techniques at Nagasaki and opened a photographic portrait studio in Kōbe in 1918. He was interested not only in portraiture but also in other photographic genres. His photograph Village Bathed in Evening Sun won first prize in the first All-Kansai Photography Competition. In 1922 he founded the monthly photography magazine Hakuyō, publishing not only his own works but those of photographers Sunao Morita, Gesshū Ogawa (1891–1967), Yasuzō Nojima and Seiyō Sakakibara in high-quality collotype. In November 1922 the Japanese Photographic Art Association (Nihon Kōga Geijutsu Kyōkai) was founded, mainly from the subscribers to the magazine, and an annual exhibition was organized. From c. 1925 Fuchigami and a group of photographers, known as Kōsei-ha (‘Constructivist school’), moved away from soft-focus photographs of nature and began to treat the picture surface as an abstract work. The European Futurist and Dadaist movements exerted some influence on the group, particularly on the work of ...

Article

Britta Erickson

(b Beijing, Oct 7, 1971).

Chinese photographer, video artist and film maker . He studied in the oil painting department of the China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou from 1991 until graduation in 1995. In 1993, for his performance piece Elsewhere, he did not speak for three months. Returning to live in Beijing (1995–7), he studied film for two weeks at the Beijing Film School (1996), and wrote his first film script for An Estranged Paradise (filmed 1997; completed 2002). In 1998 he moved to Shanghai, and began participating in exhibitions in 1999.

The mises-en-scène and careful compositions of Yang’s photographs exhibit the influence of his rigorous education as an oil painter. Lighting and colour—or the lack thereof—contribute significantly to the tenor of each work. Yang’s ability to control the framing, not just of photographic images but also of moving images, in his videos and films sets him apart from other Chinese video artists....

Article

Kohtaro Iizawa

(b Hokkaido, Feb 25, 1934).

Japanese photographer. He graduated in 1956 in photography at Nihon University in Tokyo and worked as a commercial photographer. His first exhibition, the one-man show Buta wo kurose (‘Kill the pigs’; Tokyo, Ginza A.G., 1961), was a surrealistic fantasy set in a slaughterhouse. The photographs in this exhibition were later gathered in the collection Yūgi (‘Play’; Tokyo, 1971). He established his individual style in the series Yōko (Tokyo, 1978), which records with bitter humour his daily life with Yōko, his wife from 1964 to 1976. After his divorce from her, his work became more abstract, and flocks of ravens, suggestive of human mortality, were chosen as graphic symbols. In 1977 the series Karasu (‘Ravens’; Tokyo, 1986) received the Ina Nobuo Prize. His viewpoint became increasingly introspective, characterized by the expression of a concern with the more profound aspects of life and death. Shortly after publishing his book ...

Article

Karen M. Fraser

(b Tokyo, July 25, 1883; d Tokyo, Nov 4, 1948).

Japanese photographer. The son of the head of Shiseido pharmaceutical company, Fukuhara studied pharmacology in New York from 1908 through to 1912. He then travelled in Europe before returning to Japan the following year. Fukuhara took many photographs in Paris during his extended stay there. A selection of these was later published as Pari to Sēnu (‘Paris and the Seine’, Tokyo, 1922).

In 1921 Fukuhara formed the Shashin geijutsu-sha (Photographic Art Association) with his younger brother Rosō Fukuhara (1892–1946), Isao Kakefuda (1886–1953), and Motō Ōtaguro (1893–1979). The group’s activities included publishing the journal Shashin geijutsu (‘Photographic art’, est. 1921) as well as a selection of photographic books, including Fukuhara’s Paris volume. The phrase shashin geijutsu (‘photographic art’) was intended to counter the contemporary idea of geijutsu shashin (‘art photography’). Fukuhara was critical of the trend in Japanese Pictorialism of using alternative printing processes to create images that mimicked painting. Instead he advocated achieving artistic results via ‘straight’ photography, emphasizing soft focus and light and shadow to form compositions. Fukuhara’s influential theory of ‘Light with its Harmony’ further proclaimed that photography should function like ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1960; died 29 October 1995, in Kyoto, of an AIDS-related illness.

Installation artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Dumb Type Collective.

Teiji Furuhashi was the founder of the performance group Dumb Type, an internationally-recognized, Kyoto-based arts collective whose members started to work together in ...

Article

Kohtaro Iizawa

(b Tokyo, March 28, 1915; d 1999).

Japanese photographer. He joined Oriental Photographic Industries in 1933 where he learnt photographic techniques. In 1939 he met the ethnologist Keizō Shibusawa and, strongly influenced by his positivistic documentary spirit, began to photograph the life, particularly the New Year customs, of the people of the mountain village Tanihama in Niigata prefecture. The photographs, which combine lyricism with documentation, were published as Yukiguni (‘Snow country’; Tokyo, 1956). After the war he published works in the magazines Bungei shunjū and Chūō kōron and in 1960, under contract to the Magnum agency, he became active internationally. Representative work includes the photographs of the relationship between the natural features and life of Japanese people in Ura Nihon (‘Back regions of Japan’; Tokyo, 1957) and Nihon rettō (‘The Japanese archipelago’; Tokyo, 1964) and the portrait collection Gakugeishoka (‘Scholars and artists’; Tokyo, 1982).

Contemp. Phots Japan: A Self-portrait (exh. cat., ed. C. Capa...

Article

Horst  

[Horst P ; Bohrmann, Horst Paul Albert ]

(b Weissenfels, Aug 14, 1906; d Palm Beach, FL, Nov 18, 1999).

American photographer of German birth. After briefly studying Chinese in Frankfurt am Main and then working for a firm of importers, he entered the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg, where from 1926 to 1928 he designed and made furniture. Following this he went to work as an architectural assistant to Le Corbusier in Paris. There he met George Hoyningen-Huene, who worked as a photographer for Vogue, and through him Cecil Beaton. In 1931 he himself began working as a photographer for Vogue, at first producing images influenced by Hoyningen-Huene. His photographs soon achieved an individual style, however, characterized by their striking light effects and sensual use of the models. In 1932 he spent several months working for American Vogue in New York, but his employment was terminated before the end of his six-month contract. He immigrated in 1935 to the USA, again working as a photographer for American Vogue while continuing to contribute to the French edition until the late 1940s. He spent much of his time in New York and Paris, meeting celebrities such as the film director Luchino Visconti and the fashion designer Coco Chanel....

Article

Kohtaro Iizawa

[Eikō ]

(b Yonezawa, March 18, 1933).

Japanese photographer and film maker. Born Toshihio Hosoe, he graduated from Tokyo College of Photography in 1954 and first exhibited in a one-man show An American Girl in Tokyo (1956; Tokyo, Konishiroku Gal.), a depiction of his friendship with an American girl. Hosoe became one of the leading photographers of the Vivo (Esperanto: ‘Life’) group formed in 1959 with Ikkō Narahara and Shomei Tōmatsu and others. In 1960 he published Otoko to onna (‘Man and woman’), nude portraits of the butō dancer Tatsumi Hijikata and people in his group photographed in harsh contrast. His style expressed the struggle between the human body and the spirit, sometimes as fantasy, sometimes directly. He continued to evolve this style in such collections as Barakei (‘Killed by roses’; Tokyo, 1963; rev. 2/1971/R 1985), for which the writer Yukio Mishima modelled; the fantasy comedy Kamaitachi (‘A weasel’s slash’; Tokyo, 1969...

Article

Kohtaro Iizawa

(b San Francisco, CA, June 14, 1921; d Tokyo, Feb 6, 2012).

Japanese photographer, active also in the USA. He was brought up in Japan and in 1939 returned to the USA, where he studied agriculture and architecture before photography. In 1952 he graduated from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, where he had studied under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, and in 1953 he returned to Japan. He published works in Japanese photography magazines and a collection of his own photographs, Aru hi, aru tokoro (‘Someday, somewhere’; Tokyo, 1958). At the same time he photographed the Katsura Detached Palace in Kyoto, one of the great buildings of the 17th century, publishing the results as Katsura (Tokyo, 1960). This collection, which showed the influence of Callahan and Siskind, involved a new way of interpreting the traditional beauty of Japan and was somewhat shocking to the Japanese. His uncompromising style had a strong influence on the photographers working in the Vivo (Esperanto: ‘life’) group, especially Ikko Narahara, Eikoh Hosoe and Kikuji Kawada. Again resident in Chicago from ...

Article

Hyewon Lee

(b Seoul, March 13, 1967).

Korean multimedia artist active in Germany and the UK. Koo studied Western painting at Hongik University, Seoul (1985–90), and multimedia art at the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1991–7). While Koo’s drawings and photographs capture inconspicuous details of her daily life and surroundings, her installations incorporate such mundane objects as coins, rubber bands, sugar cubes, empty bottles, washing sponges and Walt Disney cartoon characters. Her interest in the fragments of everyday life not only reflects a sustained cultural interest in le quotidien in France, but is in tune with many Korean artists of her generation, who rose to significance in the Korean art world in the late 1990s, turning to small items of daily use rather than pursuing excessive visibility or the monumentality evident in the works of their predecessors.

More often than not, nestled down at insignificant corners of an exhibition space, Koo’s small-scale installations evade a viewer’s eyes at first glance. Sometimes an installation is even invisible, as in one of her two installations for the ...

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Ithaca, NY, 1966).

American multimedia artist. A second generation Korean–American, Joo grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and studied briefly at Wesleyan University as a biology major. He took a two-year sabbatical to work at a seed science firm in Austria and subsequently received his BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. In 1989, Joo went on to receive an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art, in New Haven, CT, in 1991, after which he moved to New York.

Joo’s diverse body of work includes sculpture, video, installations and works on paper that deal with issues relating to cultural identity, the body and the relationship between science and art. His projects overlap thematically and formally as part of an ongoing series. Joo has variously implemented a wide range of materials, including monosodium glutamate, salt, taxidermy animals and even his own body, to explore the transformative moment that signals a change of state between matter and energy. Through this exchange, Joo seeks to illuminate the slippages in meaning of the subject within a prescribed cultural context. Time often functions as a cyclical and multilayered catalyst for transformation, exemplified best through his video installations such as ...