“In the act of love, as in photography, there is a form of life and a kind of slow death.” —Nobuyoshi Araki
As part of the overarching theme of SIPF 2018, Between Love & Death: Diary of Nobuyoshi Araki traces the universal stories of love, death and sentiments told in a confessional diaristic style, coined by Araki as shishashin or ‘I-photography’. The 131 original photographs delve deep into the heart of Araki’s relationship with his wife, Yoko, beginning from Subway Love (1963) and expanding into Sentimental Journey (1971) and Winter Journey (1990).
In an attempt to exorcise his sadness of Yoko’s passing, Araki’s encounters with youths in the spring of 1994 led to his unflinching studio portraiture, and honest representation of the moment in time. With Araki’s balcony as a performative stage, this erratic and passionate tempo of life is alleviated by the mundane and humourous. While grounded in reality, the cracked lens images from his Uganbochi series are analogies for his failing right eye, like a portal to another world. For Araki, they are reminders that death is on the other side of life, as well as love.