Nobuyoshi Araki
Negaeropolis Uganbochi

26 SEP – 27 OCT 2015


Rat Hole Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Nobuyoshi Araki on view from September 26 until October 27, 2015. The exhibition, which marks Araki’s tenth solo show at Rat Hole Gallery, will present roughly 70 photographs from two new series: Negaeropolis and Uganbochi.


Nobuyoshi Araki
From Negaeropolis
C-print
360 x 535 mm
2015

Negaeropolis is a series of color photographs featuring subjects consistently found in Araki’s work: nudes, flowers, dolls, and the streets of Tokyo, among other scenes from the artist’s everyday life. In this new body of work, Araki has made photographs of images exactly as they appear on the film negatives. The inverted images, with their complementary hues and orange mask characteristic of negative film, appear simultaneously vibrant and yet somber, expressing how the two sides of film- positive and negative- are inextricably linked together, serving as a metaphor for yin and yang and Araki’s own personal view of life and death.

Composed of the Japanese characters for “Right Eye” (Ugan) and “Cemetery” (Bochi), the series Uganbochi features scenes of Tokyo, primarily of a cemetery in the city, photographed in black and white with a partially cracked lens shattered intentionally by the artist. The resulting images, blurry in the center but relatively in focus on the periphery, are analogous to the vision from Araki’s right eye, which has disappeared almost completely due to an obstructed retinal artery since the end of 2013. The works also appear to express a view from the “this world” (Sigan) to “the other world” (Higan) based on the Buddhist idea of enlightenment that is also a theme often found in the artist’s work. All of the photographs in the Uganbochi series are imprinted with the date of August 15, referring to the day marking the end of World War II seventy years ago, and revealing Araki’s emotions towards post-war Japan and how urban cities such as Tokyo are becoming increasingly symbolic of a graveyard.

As the title of the exhibition- a combination of the words “(film) negative” “eros” “metropolis”- suggests, Araki’s latest work both playfully and austerely addresses his personal relationship to his beloved native city, the metropolis of Tokyo.

Rat Hole Gallery will also release a publication by Nobuyoshi Araki Negaeropolis Uganbochi in parallel with the exhibition.

Nobuyoshi Araki Negaeropolis Uganbochi
Book release date: September 26, 2015
84 pages, limited edition of 300
4,320JPY (tax included)
Published by RAT HOLE GALLERY


Nobuyoshi Araki
From Negaeropolis
C-print
360 x 535 mm
2015


Nobuyoshi Araki
From Negaeropolis
C-print
360 x 535 mm
2015


Nobuyoshi Araki
From Uganbochi
Gelatin silver print
1000 x 1470 mm
2015

 

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