Nobuyoshi Araki's photographed diary brings his wife to life
Bondage, eroticism and death are the main themes of the photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, born in 1940 in Tokyo. With Between Love and Death: Diary of Nobuyoshi Araki, hosted at the Singapore International Photography Festival in 2018, he reveals a new side of his photographic work. Between love and death, his images from 1963 to 2018 take the form of a photographed diary. It traces the relationship in life, as in the afterlife, of the photographer and his wife Aoki Yoko, who died of uterine cancer in 1990.
As Araki himself has said : “It’s thanks to Yoko that I became a photographer.” Through is serie Sentimental Journey Araki reveals moments of pure intimacy. He documented their honeymoon : through hotel rooms and travel in train. Then, in Winter Journey, he captured Yoko’s illness but also death. Even if Yoko was not here anymore, Araki continued to photograph her through their black and white cat Chiro, embodiment of his beloved wife. Finally, it is with his series Sentimental Sky, images of the sky taken on their balcony, that he still tries to capture the essence of her ghost.
This diary begins with a tender and sensual romantic relationship, then unfolds through death, Araki’s own illness and finally his resilience and thirst for life.
© Nobuyoshi Araki