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(Credit: Araki / Taschen)

Art

Bondage: The erotic adult photography of Araki in his own words

@TomTaylorFO

When Nobuyoshi Araki attended film and photography school at Chiba University in 1959, Japan was undergoing a tempestuous period of radical change. Stationed between the old ways and the new, students began to partake in the historical Anpo Protests as the left tried to sway a more neutral path for Japan in the ensuing Cold War. 

During this time of upheaval, the youth sought to bring forth a new identity for Japan. Nobuyoshi Araki’s photography was borne from this period of the old violently clashing with the new as his crisp, expressive style blended fine art, eroticism and bondage in something that was unmistakably Japanese and yet not like anything Japan had seen before. 

In truth, his only aim was to be a subversive force, as he said himself: “I don’t have anything to say. There’s no special message in my photos …. I don’t take photos to shove everything in everyone’s face …. I have no special ideology, no ideas about art, no thoughts or philosophy. It’s as though I’m just a little rogue getting up to mischief.”

Nevertheless, the photograph itself has a profundity to it. There is a great deal of method to his mischief and what he aims to intimately capture. As he explains: “The time when a picture is taken is like an emotion, it’s like a sexual encounter. It’s like a fuck! So, timing is very important.”

The results of these intimate experiments speak for themselves. However, he won’t be found teaching a course on how to achieve it any time soon. As he famously declared: “You are either born to be a photographer or not. The art of photography is not something you can learn in the classroom or by watching someone do it.”

He’s got it, and with it he has explored a range of subjects. His favourite: Bondage. This fascination is explored in full with the Taschen collection focusing on his erotic pictures in this line of work.

For more information on the Taschen publication Bondage: Araki you can click here.

The erotic photography of Araki:

(Credit: Araki / Taschen)
(Credit: Araki / Taschen)
(Credit: Araki / Taschen)
(Credit: Araki / Taschen)
(Credit: Araki / Taschen)
(Credit: Araki / Taschen)
(Credit: Araki / Taschen)
(Credit: Araki / Taschen)

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