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Hosoe, Eikoh [Eiko]

(b Yonezawa, 18 March 1933). Japanese photographer. He graduated from Tokyo College of Photography in 1951 and first exhibited in a one-man show An American Girl in Tokyo (1956; Tokyo, Konishiroku Gal.), a depiction of his friendship with an American girl. Hosoe became one of the leading photographers of the Vivo (Esperanto: ‘Life’) group formed in 1959 with Ikko Narahara and Shomei Tomatsu and others. In 1960 he published Otoko to onna (‘Man and woman’), nude portraits of the buto dancer Tatsumi Hijikata and people in his group photographed in harsh contrast. His style expressed the struggle between the human body and the spirit, sometimes as fantasy, sometimes directly. He continued to evolve this style in such collections as Barakei (‘Killed by roses’; Tokyo, 1963; rev. 2/1971/R 1985) for which the writer Yukio Mishima modelled; the fantasy comedy Kamaitachi (‘A weasel’s slash’; Tokyo, 1969), set in a rural village; and Hoyo (‘Embrace’; Tokyo, 1971) which is a more abstract version of Otoko to onna. From 1977, he began to photograph the architecture of Antoni Gaudí and the results are collected in Gaudí no uchu (‘The universe of Gaudí’; Tokyo, 1984).

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