Nobuyoshi Araki: Silent Wishes (Bibliothek der Provinz, 2008)

Except for a handful of photos from Araki’s Love by Leica series, the book is devoted to loving photos of Nobuyoshi Araki’s wife Yoko. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Rupertinum Oct. 4, 2008-Jan. 11, 2009.







Hyewon Yi: Several of your books, such as Sentimental Journey (1971) and Yoko My Love (1978), document your deceased wife’s private life with you. Sentimental Journey brought you a lot of attention for its honest depiction of everyday life, like pictures in a family album. These pictures, including shots of Yoko having sex with you, are quite revealing. What made you decide to publish such personal images? Did you consider their shock value? Was this a way to gain an attention to your career? How did your wife, Yoko, feel about being physically and emotionally exposed to that degree? Would you say she was your collaborator?

Nobuyoshi Araki: I did not intend to shock anyone. I had more of a “natural impulse.” Only artists without talent try to shock people. Because showing naked (genitals) was prohibited (in Japan), it was sensational to show them, but I was not thinking in such a calculated way. As to my honeymoon, I started taking photographs right away, beginning with our train ride, and then having sex. That is what everyone does on a honeymoon, so it is nothing special. At the time the book was published, people were more concerned about sex. Now people care less. When Sentimental Journey was published, Yoko brought this book to the office where she worked. The great thing about Yoko is, she tried to sell it to her co-workers, even to her boss. I have luck with women. I am not a great photographer, but I only have great subjects such as Yoko and Kaori.

Interview with Nobuyoshi Araki by Hyewon Yi for Trans-Asia Photography Review Volume 1, Issue 2, Spring 2011 (–crossing-boundaries-an-interview-with-nobuyoshi-araki?rgn=main;view=fulltext)