It Was Once a Paradise.
Photographs by Nobuyoshi Araki.
Reflex Editions, 2012. 100 pp., 41 color and 46 tritone illustrations, 9¾x13¾".
Arguably Japan’s greatest living photographer and the author of over 425 books to date, Nobuyoshi Araki (born 1940) is internationally known for his erotic images of tied-up, beautiful nude women. It Was Once a Paradise presents Araki’s most recent photographic series, 40 diptychs that offer a meditation on sex and grief. Each diptych couples a new color photograph of a semi-nude woman in bondage with a black-and-white still life from his personal diary, a somber image taken on his Tokyo balcony: the site of his former private paradise haunted by his deceased wife Yoko and his cat Chiro. Nostalgic ruins contrast with erotic hope, forming a contrast that is echoed in the packaging of the book, which has been designed to be read in either direction, and comes with a choice of two different dust jackets.
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