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Eikoh Hosoe

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Kamaitachi (Hijikata on the shelf in the rice field), 1965

Eikoh Hosoe is an iconic photographer of postwar Japan, exemplified by his adoption of the name Eikoh after World War II. His photographs are marked by high contrast, sharp focus, and charged imagery that espouse keen psychological infiltration and arouse profound fascination. Eroticism, myth, and irrationality are recurring themes in his work. Through Ei-Q, who he met during his time at the Tokyo College of Photography, he joined Demokrato, and he was also a founding member of the VIVO independent photography agency. His work is particularly known for his collaborations with artistic contemporaries, such as Yukio Mishima and Tatsumi Hijikata. 


Hosoe was born in 1933 in Yamagata, Japan, and is currently based in Tokyo. Major retrospectives of his work have been held at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, The Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His photographs are held in various public institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum, among others. He has been director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts since its inauguration in 1995.

Selected Press

The Glass Magazine, Aug 8, 2014

The unflinching lens - Bodyscapes

Peter Yeoh


Artists of the Darkness and Light

Natalie Haddad

Selected Exhibitions

1974 - Museum of Modern Art  New Japanese Photography

2008 - Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Hosoe Eikoh and Butoh: Photographing Strange Notions

2011 - Art Gallery of New South Wales  Eikoh Hosoe theatre of memory

2017 - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art  Japanese Photography from Postwar to now

2021 - Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts  The Photographs of Eikoh Hosoe: The Theatre Within the Dark Box

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