Yoshiyuki, Kohei

Biography

Japanese, b. 1946; lives and works in Hiroshima

Details

Kohei Yoshiyuki was working as a commercial photographer in Tokyo in the early 1970s when he stumbled upon an odd cultural phenomenon: many of the illicit nighttime sexual encounters taking place in the city's parks were being observed by roving bands of crazed voyeurs. Fascinated by these clandestine scenes, Yoshiyuki began to use infrared film and a modified flash attachment to document the subcultural encounters. From 1971 to 1979, night after night, he was able to capture dozens of such engagements in which the awkwardly engaged lovers seem to be blissfully unaware of the overzealous observers lurking nearby, often reaching out, almost to participate. When Yoshiyuki's haunting photographs were first presented in 1980, they were shown nearly life-sized in a darkened gallery, and visitors were given flashlights to observe the pictures and to recreate the surreptitious surveillance. Although enthusiastically endorsed by fellow photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, the exhibition and accompanying book caused a public scandal, and Yoshiyuki did not show "The Park" again for over twenty-five years.

Artworks by Yoshiyuki, Kohei

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