Play, 2018

Exhibition Title: Play (遊戯)
as one of the main programs of Kyotographie 2018

Venue: Kondaya Genbei, Kyoto, Japan
Period: 14 April – 13 May 2018

Exhibited series:
A Game, Color Approach, Sasuke, Ravens: Noctambulant Flight,
Raven Scenes, Ravens ’92, Private Scenes, Hibi, Bukubuku, Berobero

Curated by Simon Baker and Tomo Kosuga
Scenography by Osamu Ouchi

This exhibition is the retrospective of Masahisa Fukase in Japan to consider his work since the establishment of the Masahisa Fukase Archives in 2014. Fukase is widely regarded as one of the most radical and influential photographers of his generation, whose international career took off in the 1970s, and culminated in the success of his landmark work Ravens, but was later cut short by a tragic accident that left him in an unconscious state for the last decades of his life. This presentation, devised for Kyotographie 2018, considers all aspects of Fukase’s practice from the 1960s onwards, drawing on vintage prints, and graphic work to show the extent of the artist’s working life. Dealing with issues of family, love, friendship, loneliness, mortality, and death, activated photographically through performance, self-portraiture, play, and comedy, the exhibition establishes Fukase as one of the most innovative and original Japanese artists of the post-war period.

Divided into three key sections, Play, Ravens, and Private Scenes, the exhibition begins with a group of unique large-format polaroids and self-portraits onto which Fukase made dramatic graphic interventions. Play includes both early works from Color Approach and previously unseen works made by Fukase in collaboration with his cat Sasuke. Considerable space and attention is given to Ravens, which comprises several key bodies of Fukase’s most celebrated work. Perhaps the most original aspect of the show, however, is to show material from each of the key series made by Fukase in the early 90s: Private Scenes, Bukubuku, Berobero and Hibi.