Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki is one of Japan’s most established photographers. Known for his controversial pictures of nude Japanese women, often involved in the art of kinbaku, Araki has published over 400 books and has continued his signature style since the early 1970s. His work resides in some of the most significant public and private collections worldwide.

Nobuyoshi Araki, born in Tokyo 1940, is one of Japan's foremost contemporary and one of the world's most controversial photographers. His work has drawn worldwide attention notably for its erotic content, which blurs the lines between art and photography.


He studied photography at Chiba University, before moving on to work at advertising agency Dentsu; here he met and married Yōko Araki. During their married life Araki took abundant images of his wife before she died in 1990; he published Sentimental Journey, 1971 - photographs taken while on their honeymoon, and Winter Journey, 1991 - images taken during her last days, amongst others.


Araki is part of a generation of artists who emerged in the 1960s as Japan was recovering from the Second World War. The extreme growth, urbanisation and overt commercialism influenced him, and can be seen throughout his work, for example karaoke bars, Japanese toys and busy cityscapes often feature. He likewise often reflects Japanese traditions, in both historical and stylised references; his Kinbaku series examines the art of bondage, also seen in 67 Shooting Back.


Known for his diary-like documentation of everyday life, he has gone on to publish hundreds of books, create films, and in recent years photograph musicians Lady Gaga and Bjork.


As one of the most prolific artists worldwide, his photography has been exhibited internationally in both individual and group exhibitions, with works residing in many significant public and private collections including the Tate Modern and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.