Eikoh Hosoe Theatre of Memory : Art Gallery of NSW

Eikoh Hosoe – Theatre of Memory Exhibiton & Lecture at The Art Gallery of NSW May, 2011

“Photographers are the sinful artists” is how Eikoh Hosoe describes his chosen art form. At his recent lecture at the AGNSW, Hosoe regaled his attentive audience with the anecdotal ‘naughty’ stories behind a number of artworks. Each story lured one further and further into his world. Viewing the works creates a very similar sensation. Hosoe has an uncanny, and I think unrivalled, ability to capture and portray emotion and personality through his photographs – each image is like looking at the life story of his subjects all at once.

Dark, haunting, often cheeky characters are the subject of Hosoe’s works. Capturing images of life, death and natural emotion in people and places is his forte. Often spending months or years photographing his subjects, Hosoe’s work is truly captivating.

The Theatre of Memory exhibition showcases almost all of his works from the 1960’s to 2008. The works are printed with modern digital technology on ancient Japanese scrolls and screens using traditional paper and mounting methods: “A new artistic expression” said the artist whose work in the past was predominantly photo books.

A stand out is the “Ukiyo-e Projections” series from 2003, where images of ukiyo-e prints were digitally projected on to the bodies of Butoh dancers. The result cannot be described, it must be seen. There is so much to say about this artist and his work that cannot be written here – my suggestion is to experience the works for yourself. Until August 7 @ AGNSW.