Masahisa Fukase

Masahisa Fukase (b. 1934) is renowned for his obsessive, intense and deeply introspective photography. Through which he articulated his passionate and occasionally violent life. Fukase’s body of work is remarkable for the extraordinary range of visual perspectives. A truly conceptual artist, Fukase altered the language of his work to suit the different narratives. Therefore, his photographs appear as instinctively assured in regional slaughterhouses or Shinjuku street orgies as in his own home.

The most widely recognised of his projects is, The Solitude of Ravens (1986). It was created over a period of ten years following the breakdown of his second marriage. Stark and monochrome, the ravens become a symbol of lost love and unendurable heartbreak. Taking on such autobiographical resonance that Fukase is presented as the real subtext of his own work. Fukase’s abstracted grief for Yohko appears in particularly bleak relief when set against his insouciant, intimate pictures of his young bride. And their early domestic happiness from the 1970s. In another example of Fukase’s personal iconography, the artist’s cats, who made such frequent appearances in his account of marital life. So, they reappear in his final series, Bukubuku (Bubbling, 2004). Completed shortly before Fukase’s debilitating fall in 1992, the series has been described as ‘a whimsical if somewhat morbid game of solitaire that charts new territory for the photographic self-portrait.’

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