Ariko Inaoka (b. 1975, Kyoto, Japan) moved to the United States at the age of 17 and gained a BFA in photography from Parsons School of Design in New York. After working as a photographer in New York and Tokyo, in 2011 while continuing her personal photography projects, she decided to take over her family business, her ancestral restaurant in Kyoto that has been running since 1465. Her first photo book SOL was published in 2008 by the Japanese house, Akaaka, and her second book Eagle and Raven is published in 2020. Her work has been published by various international media, including the BBC and The Guardian. She lives in Kyoto.
Eagle and Raven is a book of seven summers that Ariko Inaoka spent in Iceland, photographing the twin sisters Erna (Eagle) and Hrefna (Raven). The sisters grew from 9 to 16 years of age during the series. Inaoka captures the sisters (“we dream the same dreams sometimes”, they told her) in dreamlike, surreal scenes, each image subverting expectations in one way or other and displaying the deep bond the sisters share with each other and with their photographer.
Nuances about entering adulthood, about leaving childhood and innocence behind, enter into the story as Inaoka explores the omnipresent nature of life in Raven and Eagle’s relationship with each other. The book contains a poem by Icelandic novelist Gudrun Eva Minervudottir in English and Japanese translation.
By The Way
The Handmaiden is a 2016 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook. It is inspired by the 2002 novel Fingersmith by Welsh writer Sarah Waters, with the setting changed from Victorian era Britain to Korea under Japanese colonial rule.