Nobuyoshi Araki: Bokuju Kitan

18 September - 19 October 2008

Bokuju Kitan / Marvellous Tales of Black Ink was Nobuyoshi Araki's first solo exhibition in London since his major retrospective at the Barbican Art Gallery in 2005.


Kinbaku, meaning bondage, is the signature motif of this specific body of work. Traditionally used in pornographic works, bondage is rarely associated with artistic motivation. However, since 1979, Araki has depicted the theme through a creative lens. Although considered provocative, he has interpreted this subject matter with imaginative artistry and his works, undoubtedly thought provoking, evolve in a poetic dimension.


In composing this series, Bokuju Kitan / Marvellous Tales of Black Ink, Araki selected 88 images from his 30 years worth of Kinbaku work and hand-painted calligraphy on each photograph. In these unique, oversized gelatin silver prints, we witness Araki's imagination running undeterred, playing with the varied, lyrical meanings Japanese characters allow whilst seamlessly involving his dark sense of humour.