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Eikoh HOSOE

Japan born 1933

Man and woman, number 20. From the series Man and Woman. [Man and woman # 20. (from the series Man and woman).] 1960 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 14.1 h x 14.6 w cm sheet 38.2 h x 33.7 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.684

In Hosoe’s work the human body becomes arresting and unfamiliar. This was his first collaboration with Tatsumi Hijikata, founder of the Ankoku Butoh (Dance of darkness) dance movement. After watching a performance by Hijikata’s troupe, Hosoe immediately arranged for them to work together. The critic Tatsuo Fukishima described the process of Hosoe making these pictures in his studio: ‘what I saw … was the photographer’s own version of pandemonium – light and darkness, shrill cries of life, darkness revealed by light and endless confusion lurking in the shadows’. The body is at once alien and intimate.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra