If you’re looking for inspiration on how to create exceptional portrait photography, then allow these top Japanese photographers to show you how it’s done!
From Nobuyoshi Araki’s suggestive imagery to Kimiko Yoshida’s personal exploration, there are as many ways to shoot a portrait as there are talented artists to shoot them. We have selected five examples of the most innovative art portraiture that we are sure will leave an unforgettable impression.
Kenta Nakamura’s Portraits of Daily Life are Anything but Ordinary
How do you turn ordinary people into professional models?
Fukuoka-based Japanese photographer Kenta Nakamura aims to document the lives of those around him, but getting people to relax in front of the camera is a challenge.
Nakamura solves this problem by providing a simple prop, in this case a pair of 3D glasses, which acts as a mask or a stage costume. Through this act of imagination, the passive subject of a portrait becomes an active participant in the art.
Visit kentanakamura.com to see more of his insightful vision.
Ayano Sudo’s Self-Portrait is One Woman’s Emancipation
This gorgeous image is a self-portrait from artist and photographer Ayano Sudo.
Inspired by the classic 1940s novel ‘The Makioka Sisters’ by Junichiro Tanizaki, Sudo transforms herself into a member of the Osaka elites of the time.
The precious Japanese kimono and other everyday objects in the photograph belonged to Sudo’s grandmother, which adds an authentic layer of personal strength and authorship.
Check out Sudo's Tumblr page for more of her fascinating work.
Behind the Uncanny Photography of Yuichi Ikehata
The subtle detail of Yuichi Ikehata’s supranatural photography is both disturbing and beautiful.
By imposing human features on an empty wire construction, Ikehata’s digital art reveals the fragility of personal identity and the fleeting nature of human life.
By embracing the possibilities of digital manipulation to create photographic art, Ikehata is making an invaluable contribution to contemporary Japanese photography.
To discover more of Ikehata’s spectral creations visit works.kakuunohito.com.
The Surreal Digital World of Noriko Yamaguchi
The future of technology in our lives is a cause of excitement and anxiety; artist Nariko Yamaguchi tackles this issue head-on.
Yamaguchi adorns her own body with communications equipment and cellphone keypads to create her character Ketai Girl. At once photographic and performance art and, Ketai Girl explores the interaction of human and technology and our accessibility to each other. During performances, she even gives some viewers the cellphone number of her suit to engage in conversation with her.
Learn more about Yamaguchi’s works at yamaguchinoriko.com.
Find Yourself in Kimiko Yoshida’s Portrait Photography
When the artist becomes the canvas!
Paris-based Japanese photographer Kimiko Yoshida’s self-portraits are a window into a curious case of identity representation. Yoshida’s imagery sees her metamorphose into historical and cultural figures, but always as herself.
In this latest series, Rorschach Yoshida, she distorts and manipulates her portraits with blots of paint. The powerful transformation, in this case, has become an abstraction of the self. Ultimately, the meaning of a rorsarch lies within the viewer. What do you see here?
Check out many more of Yoshida’s radically stylized self-portraits on her site at kimiko.fr!
Nobuyoshi Arashi's Inimitable Style
The work of one of the most famous Japanese photographers, Nobuyoshi Araki, is always recognizable through its ability to excite or unnerve. In one of his most iconic images, a kimono-clad women enjoying a piece of fruit takes on a dark and erotic aura through Araki’s uncompromising vision.
At the moment you can catch Araki’s work at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London. You can also visit the artist's own site at arakinobuyoshi.com.
Do you have a favorite Japanese photographer you think we should mention? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!