Acts of Intimacy: The Erotic Gaze in Japanese Photography

Exhibition Website

Jan 19 2017 - Apr 2 2017

The first exhibition in a yearlong exhibition series devoted to contemporary photography and video art from Asia, to be presented in thematic exhibitions in New York over the course of 2017. Stemming from the collection's first acquisitions of Chinese and Japanese photography in the early 2000s, and highlighting important recent additions, this program features an expansive range of photographic and video work exploring notions of performance, social identity, sexuality, and urban transformation. 

Acts of Intimacy: The Erotic Gaze in Japanese Photography brings together three key photographic series by the Japanese artists Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Kohei Yoshiyuki -- each of whom has given special attention to the role of eroticism and sexual subcultures in Japanese society. Araki's 101 Works for Robert Frank (Private Diary) (1993) is an editioned version of the images contained in a unique scrapbook that Araki presented to photographer Robert Frank. Made during a time when Araki was emerging from a long period of mourning after the death of his wife Yoko, the photographs constitute an extended self-portrait of a man slowly reawakening to the pleasures of life. Moriyama's a room (2015) encompasses 67 images made from the 1980s to the present in Moriyama's Tokyo apartment. These photographs depict nude or semi-nude women who are unidentified, and whose faces are never complete when revealed. In a room, Moriyama places himself in the role of both participant and observer of an intimate erotic spectacle of his own creation. Yoshiyuki's notorious series The Park (1973) explores the clandestine world of sexual encounters that the photographer discovered during nighttime walks in Tokyo's city parks. Shooting with flash and infrared film, Yoshiyuki captured not only pairs of lovers locked in furtive embraces but also the voyeuristic onlookers, the "peepers," gathered in the bushes around them.

For information about the artists, click the link above

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Photography
  • Asian
  • Contemporary
  • Culture / Lifestyle
  • Japanese
  • Nobuyoshi Araki
  • Daido Moriyama
  • Kohei Yoshiyuki

Exhibition Venues & Dates