Nobuyoshi Araki

Article Bio Works Projects www
body, sexuality
Visual Arts (photography)
Asia, Eastern
created on:
July 21, 2003
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Please note: This page has not been updated since November 2, 2005. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Nobuyoshi Araki
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All the women in the world

Nobuyoshi Araki is a Japanese photographer obsessed with women in all shades. Eroticism is a central subject for his extremely popular exhibitions. He is known as one of the most radical and controversial photographers of our time.
The photographer and artist Nobuyoshi Araki is known for his provoking and erotic pictures. He documents social taboos surrounding sexuality and death. Encompassing contemporary Japanese sub-culture, from poetic scenes of old Tokyo, to the dark side of urban life and eroticised female bodies in a variety of fantasy settings.

He transforms every single exhibition to an event, which attracts the media and the public in large scale. He is a personality who is capable of telling us the story about the Japanese with all its contradictions in a simple language, cleaned of rhetorics and censorship.

His large exhibition at Modena Museum in Italy stressed the importance of the museum´s positions within photography, nationally and internationally.
3,300 pictures were presented, among these were 2,000 Polaroid photos. They form an amazing puzzle of figures and surroundings and describe as a chronicle how life in a huge city like Tokyo develops.

Added to these pictures are series of unedited pictures, as e.g. ´Tokyo Diary´ and for the first time also the complete series of ´Yugwara stories´ as well as 35 portraits chosen among hundreds of pictures, which the Japanese master has produced in the last years.

Araki´s curiosity for this world is manifested in his insatiable need to explore the Woman. He never seems to know enough about her: "I can only say one thing, which might seem completely absurd: I don´t know anything about the woman and her world. They are all different, and each of them have their own fascination and that is why I have to photograph them".

This is how elegant portraits of the higher bourgeoisie in Tokyo are created. But also photographs inspired by young girls and women, which spontaneously have exposed themselves to his photographs.

Araki is not only concerned by the specific atmosphere in the pictures of their naked bodies. It is the idea of pleasure itself; about the pure sensuality, about the
extreme eroticism, which has nothing to do with vulgarity, neither could it be the fruit of pure voyeuristic pleasure.
Author: Karin Bergquist


1940: Nobuyoshi Araki was born in Tokyo, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo, Japan

Selected recent solo exhibitions:

"Self•Life•Death" from 6 Oct 2005 to 22 Jan 2006 at Barbican Art Gallery in London, England. This is the first major show of Araki in London.

Nobuyoshi Araki, Jablonka Galerie, Köln, Germany
Araki in Venice, Italian Pavilion, Venice, Italy
Shosetsu Seoul, Artium, Fukuoka, Japan

Kaei, Gallery Art Graph, Tokyo, Japan
Flower Shadow, Gallery Artgraph, Tokyo, Japan
Shikijyo kyo, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Uen Yanaka Biyori, Gallery J2, Tokyo, Japan
Shosetsu Seoul, Spiral Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Still Life, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Sentimental Flowers, Shibuya Mark City, Tokyo, Japan
My Kyoto 1971-1999, Isetan Museum, Kyoto, Japan
Sentimental Journey, Centro per arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy
Erotos, OP Photogallery, Toronto, Canada
Privacy, Nadiff, Tokyo, Japan
Photo Poche, La Camera, Tokyo, Japan
Nobuyoshi Araki, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France
Nobuyoshi Araki, Damasquine Art Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Photography of the End of the Century, Institut Franco-Japonal, Tokyo, Japan
Fassa Love, Galerie Les Trois Agneaux, France

Selected recent group exhibitions:

Ganjin and photographers from the world, Matsuzakaya Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
See, Take a Pictura, Express, Setagaya Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Promiscuous Flowers; Robert Mapplethorpe & Nobuyoshi Araki, Niitsu City Museum, Niigata, Japan and Odakyu Museum, Shinjuku, Japan
Strategies; Photography of the Nineties, Kunsthalle, Kiel, Gemany, Museo;Arte Moderna, Bolzano, Italy and Rupertinum, Salzburg, Austria
The Body and the sin, Valencia Biennale, Valencia, Spain

Bourgeois Hero, Galleria Civica Modena, Modena, Italy
Copenhagen Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
Gendai: Japanese Centemporary Art, Center for Contemporary Art, Ujadowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
Racolta della Fotografia Contemporanea, Galleria Civica Modena, Modena, Italy


All the women in the world

Exhibition / Installation,
The world of women by Nobuyoshi Araki


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)


Araki Nobuyoshi´s official website


High profile solo exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London, 2005-2006