“Umegaoka Elegy” is the latest photobook by Japanese master photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, published on occasion of the same-titled exhibition at Taka Ishii Gallery.
Araki’s photos capture his usual fascination with sex, death and perversion, expressed in subjects like figurines, flowers, sex toys and the imaginative ways Araki arranges them. But there is a somberness to his pictures. As Araki, now 79 years old, begins to face the impending end of his life and is hindered from leaving his house as much as he used to due to waning physical strength, he himself and his increasing decline become the true subject of his photograph.
“His lens that had once enabled him to bid farewell and pay respect to death of his father, mother, wife Yoko and beloved cat Chiro by means of capturing them as subjects in his photographs, is now pointed at the photographer himself.
The culmination of photographs is a candid reflection of Araki’s daily life in which he engages in straightforwardly capturing his preferred and habitual subjects, and thus entrust their respective interpretation to those who view them.” (from the publisher’s description)