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Kohei Yoshiyuki: The Park
For his notorious Park photos, taken at night in Tokyo’s Shinjuku, Yoyogi and Aoyama parks during the 1970s, Kohei Yoshiyuki used a 35mm camera, infrared film and flash to capture a secret community of lovers and voyeurs. His pictures document the people who gathered in these parks at night for clandestine trysts, as well as the many spectators lurking in the bushes who watched―and sometimes participated in―these couplings.
With their raw, snapshot-like quality, these images not only uncover the hidden sexual exploits of their subjects, both same-sex and heterosexual, but they also serve as a chronicle of a Japan we rarely see. As Martin Parr writes in The Photobook: A History, Volume II, The Park is “a brilliant piece of social documentation, capturing perfectly the loneliness, sadness and desperation that so often accompany sexual or human relationships in a big, hard metropolis like Tokyo.”
This newly designed, comprehensive edition of Kohei Yoshiyuki: The Park brings this collectible classic back into print with eight never-before-seen images, as well as documentation of the Japanese zines that predated the 2007 Hatje Cantz/Yossi Milo edition.
Japanese photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki (born 1946) first came to prominence with the 1979 debut of his Park photos at the Komei Gallery, Tokyo. Yoshiyuki had his first exhibition outside of Japan at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York in 2007. His photos are held in collections worldwide, including the Brooklyn Museum, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Swedish Arts Council, Stockholm; and Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. An accompanying exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the Park series will be held at Yossi Milo Gallery, NY, in 2020.