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Japan born 1933

Embrace # 11. [Embrace # 11. (from Embrace series).] 1971
Collection Title: Embrace series
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 8.4 h x 12.5 w cm sheet 20.2 h x 25.4 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.670

The great Japanese photographer Hosoe maintained a close association with the founders of the Butoh theatre movement. Hosoe was taken with Butoh’s highly expressive forms (best expressed in the dramatic contrast of light and dark) which at once embodied the traumatic experience of postwar Japan and sought to transgress the social and moral confinements of traditional Japanese culture. Hosoe’s series Embrace reflects his interest in Butoh, with white figures emerging from black spaces: darkness expressing those aspects of culture and consciousness not properly understood nor known.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra