from JaPigozzi Collection

Diorama Map Kyoto 2003 (2009) by Sohei NishinoJaPigozzi Collection

Photography is a central medium in JaPigozzi Collection. From analog to digital, to individual prints and collages, the artworks shed light on the multi-faceted practice of some of the most prominent artists working with photography in Japan from the 1970s onwards.

Personal Sentimentalism in Photography (2000) by Nobuyoshi ArakiJaPigozzi Collection

One of the key photographers in the collection is Nobuyoshi Araki (b.1940), who is known for his extremely personal compositions.

Tokyo Cube 5 (1994) by Nobuyoshi ArakiJaPigozzi Collection

Araki’s pictures are renowned for their intimate subjects - often images of female nudity or snapshots of urban life, portrayed as if they were pages taken from a private journal.

Personal Sentimentalism in Photography (2000) by Nobuyoshi ArakiJaPigozzi Collection

The erotic depiction of women is arguably the topic he is most recognised for; this motif comes from the traditional erotic shunga prints that were popular from 17th-19th Century Japan.

Personal Sentimentalism in Photography (2000) by Nobuyoshi ArakiJaPigozzi Collection

Araki recreates some of these motifs in contemporary domestic spaces, thus creating compositions that are at once provocative and personal.
Araki’s most intimate photographic albums immediately inspired the next generations of photographers.

In particular, from the 1990s, a group of young female artists started experimenting with informal snapshots and self-portraiture. Two examples of this movement, named by the leading art critics onnanoko shashin (‘girl photography’), are included in JaPigozzi Collection: Mika Ninagawa and Tomoko Sawada.

Noir (2010) by MIka NinagawaJaPigozzi Collection

Mika Ninagawa (b.1972) was among the first female photographers of her generation to garner mainstream attention in Japan. From the 1990s, she used a colourful, pop aesthetic, which can also be identified in the work of several other female artists during the same period.

Ninagawa notably started using photography as her main medium to document details of her daily life. Her subjects range from self-portraiture, to still-lifes, to animals and landscapes. Her self-portraits are among the most fascinating pieces, and are sometimes very confrontational, as they depict the artist as an empowered woman with rebellious, styled ‘looks’.

Masquerade (2010) by Tomoko SawadaJaPigozzi Collection

The photography by Tomoko Sawada (b.1977) is more focused on exploring identity – the artist uses her own image to represent the clichés surrounding Japanese women.

Her works are often composed of multiple photographs where she wears different wigs, clothes and make-up to imitate a variety of stereotypical characters in Japanese society.

Diorama Map Tokyo 2004 (2009) by Sohei NishinoJaPigozzi Collection

Sohei Nishino (b. 1982) is another important figure in contemporary Japanese photography, and is represented in depth in the JaPigozzi Collection.

Diorama Map Hiroshima 2003 (2009) by Sohei NishinoJaPigozzi Collection

Nishino’s works have a very distinguishable characteristic: rather than being composed of just one photograph, his Diorama Maps are combinations of several bird’s eye views of cities.

Diorama Map Kyoto 2003 (2009) by Sohei NishinoJaPigozzi Collection

These multiple pictures of the metropolis become accumulations of images that depict the impressive expansion of the chosen cities. The resulting images are gigantic and complex compositions, where the viewer’s gaze gets lost while registering all the details.

Diorama Osaka 2003 (2009) by Sohei NishinoJaPigozzi Collection

As delineated by this selection, the works in JaPigozzi collection cover a varied photographic production that produced different and original results. Despite the particularities of each artist’s work, a common trait that unifies all of them is the shared desire to show reality, and to offer a personal response to it.

Night (2010) by Sohei NishinoJaPigozzi Collection

The camera becomes the eye through which the photographer experiences and comments on his or her surroundings, as well as the wider social scenario that shapes their lives.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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