Nobuyoshi Arakiat Musée Guimet, Paris

Photography as autobiography
13 April – 5 Septembre, 2016

Maori Love 2007 © Nobuyoshi Araki/eyesencia


A major figure in contemporary Japanese photography, Nobuyoshi Araki is known worldwide for his photographs of women bound according to the ancestral rules of Kinbaku – the Japanese art of bondage – a practice going back to the 15th century. This exhibition at Musée Guimet, which is one of the most important devoted to Araki in France, retraces fifty years of his work in over 400 photographs. The selection, drawn from thousands of photographs the artist took between 1965 and 2016, ranges from one of the oldest series titled Theatre of love in 1965 up to hitherto unpublished works, including his latest creation in 2015, specially produced for the museum and titled Tokyo-Tombeau. The exhibition starts from the discovery of almost all the books Araki ever made, and is followed by an introduction to the main themes of his work – flowers, photography as autobiography, his relation with his wife Yoko, eroticism, desire, but also the evocation of death. Araki’s work is backed up by endless experiments. The medium’s codes and stereotypes are revisited by the artist who manipulates his own negatives or occasionally covers his images with calligraphy or painting. This exhibition aim to let visitors explore and understand Araki’s roots in traditional Japanese culture.