Nobuyoshi Araki, one of Japan's most controversial photographers, is set to release a new book called Blue Period/Last Summer: Arakinema next month. The book will focus on the artist's lesser-known experimental film projects.
Having already built a reputation through his black and white photographic explorations of brothels, rope bondage and, most famously, his late wife Yoko, Araki's works have been instrumental in breaking down taboos surrounding sexuality in Japan. More specifically, it shines a light on both the beauty and the danger of restricting open discussions around sexual practices.
In his new book, the photographer strays away from his usual monochromatic format and invites readers to revisit a selection of works which ran from the late '80s until the mid '00s. First opening in 1986 in Tokyo's Cinema Rise, Araki staged a live performance of Tokyo Monogatari (Tokyo Story) taken from his film series Arakinema. The performance utilized two projectors in which overlapped images faded into one another while accompanied by a film soundtrack.
Characteristically, the book still features nude portraits and Tokyo landscapes. “The two films should be seen as a set,” Araki explained, “since Blue Period is about the past and Last Summer is about the future. By removing color using a chemical solution, Blue Period is about an act of subtraction (past), whereas adding color to the images in Last Summer is about an act of addition (future).”
In the book, Araki says “These two works are my tour de force,” describing the project as “just like life itself.” For select images from the book, browse the gallery above. Blue Period/Last Summer: Arakinema releases December 1.
In related news, British photographer Rankin premiered his first NSFW commercial exhibition.