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Araki Nobuyoshi and Photography Critical Essay

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Updated: Jul 29th, 2019

Introduction

Araki was born in Japan on May 1940.He picked interest in photography hence pursuing photography in college. Araki is a renowned photographer in Japan and his work has been of extensive influence in the world of art. Araki’s work was not strictly confined to photography but he was a writer and by 2005, he had published 350 books1.

Despite the criticism leveled on his photos to be phonographic, their value and influence still stand the test of time. The prevailing contribution of his works has been said to cross the borders while giving a new insight to the perception towards photography.

An explanation of the historic significance of the artist and his work

It is imperative to note that Araki took the artistic work by surprise when portrayed the boldness of taking photograph’s of naked women and more specifically of his wife in the honey moon which he later used in one of his books. The freedom to take different types of photos irrespective of the subject was engineered by the artist.Arakis ideology on photography was that he did not believe in taking photos for self consciousness.

The artistic value attached to his work was greatly based on his quest to be real.2 He has at all his material times that he used to take photos guided by the conviction that a photo should relate to what is real but that is why he has denounced the use of digital cameras vehemently.

Still standing still in the believe that the world could be reimagined through photography he compares and contrasts the digital photos and the film photos stating that digital photos look beautiful but do not last long. On the criticism as to whether his phonographic photos were to add fame to his career by attracting attention of the world, Araki states that he did not take photos for other people but for himself.

It is evident by the fact that he mainly posted his wife’s honey moon photos. In The words of Araki photography is a form of lying since the object of the photo is the truth. However, Araki never considered his photography to be perfect but he always believed that he had better subjects who enabled him to achieve a better shot.

He was once accused of deviating from the common cultural perception on beauty in the majority of Japan population. It was contended by his critics that in his photos he was presenting women with wrinkles instead of the beautiful models. 3

He was quick to sustain a defense of such criticisms by stating that many of his critics did not know how to view photographs. According to him a real and normal photograph is distinct from abnormal photo in the sense the normal photo does not appeal to what the heart desires demand.

The 1980 introduction of cameras with date was milestones in enabling Araki prove to the world that his claim that photographs are half truths. Through the camera Araki would manipulate the camera to back date certain photographs while at the same time we would switch the date and cite future dates.

In a nutshell that how he used to make the past appear as the future while at the same time appeal in a real state to his subjects4. In his book Pseudo-Diary 1980 he picked historical events like the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he tried to adjust his camera to create a situation in the minds of the viewers that the events happened in a later date.

He promoted a new kind of art when he combined his essay writing skills with the photographs and then making it a book. The combination has given art a new meaning in the sense that a writer can use art to develop his creativity and make it friendlier to the readers.5

The outstanding contribution of Araki is to be on record for he is an artist who believed in what he did in the work he did. He was not ashamed to put phonographic photos in national magazines. It ought to be remembered that the Japanese Government at the material time had strictly prohibited the publicity of phonography in the media. 6

Equally the surrounding circumstances at the material time was highly anti phonography.Araki had the audacity to compile his photographs in books despite the criticism and the antagonistic cultural forces.

It is imperative to note that some percentage of Japanese society was permissive enough to allow naked photographs but still Arakis photographs were considered a little real and normal7.

Conclusion

It is worth noting that art has very rich history which is passed from one general. In relation to that the cultural situation during that period it was almost impossible to imagine such a giant growth of art at such a period.

In a period when the media could not put up with his photographs, Araki made a diary hence historically facilitating the growth of his art.He promoted a new genre of art which is up to date cherished in Japan and other parts of the world.

Bibliography

Araki, Nobuyoshi. Araki: Self – Life – Death. Londres: Phaidon. 2005.

Araki, Nobuyoshi, Akiko Miki, Yoshiko Isshiki, and Tomoko Sato. Araki: Nobuyoshi Araki: self, life, death. London: Phaidon Press, 2011.

Marien, Mary Warner. Photography: a cultural history. London: King, 2006.

Warren, Lynne. Encyclopedia of twentieth-century photography. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Yi, Hyewon. . 2011. Web.

Footnotes

1 Araki, Nobuyoshi. 2005. Araki: Self – Life – Death. Londres: Phaidon, p 15.

2 Araki, Nobuyoshi , Akiko Miki, Yoshiko Isshiki, and Tomoko Sato. 2011. Araki: Nobuyoshi Araki: self, life, death. London: Phaidon Press. p.16.

3 Warner, Marien Mary. 2006. Photography: a cultural history. London: King p.21.

4 Yi, Hyewon. Crossing Boundaries: An Interview with Nobuyoshi Araki. 2011. Web.

5 Yi, Hyewon. Crossing Boundaries: An Interview with Nobuyoshi Araki. 2011. Web.

6Araki, Nobuyoshi. 2005. Araki: Self – Life – Death. Londres: Phaidon p.6.

7 Warren, Lynne. Encyclopedia of twentieth-century photography. New York: Routledge, 2005.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Araki Nobuyoshi and Photography." July 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/araki-nobuyoshi-and-photography/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Araki Nobuyoshi and Photography'. 29 July.

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