Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kohei Yoshiyuki

In the 1970s, a Japanese photographer, Kohei Yoshiyuki, produced an astonishing body of work, titled The Park, documenting young couples having sex in Tokyo parks and the peeping toms who watched. To capture these scenes, he designed an infrared flash for his camera, which was barely visible and allowed him to photograph without being noticed. 

These bold images position the viewer in the place of the peeping toms and bring photography's inherent voyeurism to the forefront. When he first exhibited these photos, Yoshiyuki printed them life size and displayed them in a darkened gallery. Visitors were each given flashlights and allowed to find the photos, implicating them in the chain of voyeurism. Unable to condemn the peeping toms for their taboo behavior, they instead were forced to recognize and confront their own interest in and perhaps titillation at the pictures.

Although I was unaware of Yoshiyuki's work when I first began my current project, it has profoundly influenced my thinking about my own work.
While our work revolves around similar subject matter, sex in public parks, our images are very different and engage with slightly different sets of issues.  I hope, though, that my images have the same room for complexity as Yoshiyuki's, that they can seduce and repel concurrently.


michele said...

non capisco quello che vedo,ma credo di poter capire

mono magnético azul said...

i immediately thought in yoshiyuki when i found this project of you today, i love it because i have a strong connection with it, this dark world in the forest that makes me dream also.
¿have you ever read "dark hole" by charles burns?