Originally a commercial photographer, in the early 1970s Yoshiyuki became fascinated by the prevalence of outdoor sex in Japan, and the voyeuristic onlookers it attracted. The first results of his forays into the bushes of Shinjuku, Yoyogi and Aoyama parks were published as a photo essay in the magazine Weekly Shincho in 1972 and subsequently in several book versions of The Park series. Yoshiyuki’s photographs speak of the cultural anxieties provoked by the invasive presence of surveillance in contemporary life. The degraded and abstracted images of the Love Hotel series were taken from automatic videos in love hotels. The blurry ghosts of sexual contact are registered through a form of electronic voyeurism. Yoshiyuki’s photographs are almost illegible with graphic black and white contrasts, emphasizing how encounters between people and cameras are mediated.
Kohei Yoshiyuki was born in 1946 in Japan, where he currently lives and works. Recently, The Park has been shown internationally at the 2008 Berlin, Gwangju Biennales and in important exhibitions and publications such as Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870 (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Tate Modern, London) and Night Vision: Photography after Dark (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). His photography is represented in many important museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The prints in this exhibition are on loan from Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.
Presentation House Gallery’s bookstore will have a limited number of the 2007 edition of The Park published by Hatje Cantz.