Yoshiyuki: The Park

The crow has flown away: swaying in the evening sun, a leafless tree.

haiku by Soseki Natsume




 Kohei Yoshiyuki (born 1946) is a Japanese photographer who attracted much attention in 1979 with his exhibition “Kōen” (The Park) at Tokyo, with photographs of people in sexual activities in Shinjuku and Yoyogi parks. The photographs were taken with a 35 mm camera and infrared flashbulbs. Kohei had previously photographed lovers seen by men hiding in the shadows, filming the scene: a voyeuristic act. Kohei became friend with the voyeurs: in order to film he had to be considered one of them. What is the photographer after all if not a voyeur, prompt at spying scenes that do not belong to his own life? Photograpic voyeurism culminates with our partecipation, in that Kohei with his photographs allows us to watch the couple, watched by voyeurs being watched by the photographer, making in turn us (the viewers) voyers. Yoshiyuki’s works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston) and North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh).








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