Hosoe Eikoh and Butoh: Photographing Strange Notions

Pavilion for Japanese Art
June 22, 2008–September 14, 2008

Hosoe Eikoh (b. 1933) is considered a preeminent contemporary Japanese photographer and filmmaker; he emerged in the experimental arts movement of post-World War II Japan. This exhibition consists of three series of works featuring butoh, an iconoclastic dance form often employing grotesque imagery and transmutation of the dancer into either an animal or person of the opposite sex. Two murals will be displayed, one based on the 2003 photographic series Ukiyo-E Projections and the other based on a series of photographs in which the butoh dancer, Ohno Kazuo, dances within projections of a folding screen painted by Soga Shohaku, an eccentric artist living in Kyoto at the end of the eighteenth century. These photographs will be transformed by the artist into a mural that expresses his interpretation of Shohaku's work. A third series, Kamaitachi, will be presented as framed photographs. Kamaitachi refers to a swirling, cutting wind, in legend depicted as a supernatural being that haunted the Japanese countryside of Hosoe's childhood. Using the avant-garde artist and dancer Tatsumi Hijikata, Hosoe created a series of  photographs with the dancer seen as this wandering ghost, mirroring the stark landscape and confronting farmers and children.

Curated by Hollis Goodall, Japanese art, and Charlotte Cotton, photography.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was supported in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. Additional support was provided by LACMA's Photographic Arts Council.

Image: Hosoe Eikoh, Erotic Ukiyo-e Projections, 2008, commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Hosoe Eikoh.