Kazue Kobata


    THESE FOUR IMAGES are from LamentsFrom Close Range/Skyscapes, a two-volume photographic work by Nobuyoshi Araki, to be published this month by Shincho-Sha, in Tokyo. The work,as the title hints, is a eulogy for the photographer’s wife and principal model, Yoko,who died of cancer almost two years ago. Araki is known for his versatile style—from hormone to pheromone, from sexscape to cityscape—but he describes all his work as “I photography,” in reference to the Japanese literary genre of the “I-novel,” the novel in epistolary form.

    The Laments series vividly conveys Araki’s struggle to restore

  • “International Iron Sculpture Symposium”

    The premise of this open-air sculpture exhibition and symposium, held on the site of a defunct foundry in southern Japan, was to take “a new look at iron as a material for artistic expression.” The site—the old Yahata Ironworks of Shin-Nippon Steel—was a particularly appropriate one for an event celebrating and promoting the renewal of iron, for the city of Kitakyushu has been hard hit by the severe decline in iron and steel production here over the last decade. (A popular media cliché for the current economic depression is “iron cold.”) Today, the abandoned iron foundry and steel mill and its

  • Noriyuki Haraguchi’s studio on Tokyo Bay.

    NORIYUKI HARAGUCHI'S STUDIO IS in Taura, an industrial section of the port of Yokosuka, near Yokohama on Tokyo Bay. Haraguchi, a leading figure in Mono-ha, a Japanese artists’ group of the decade beginning in the mid ’60s, first became known for paintings, “crudely realistic and brutally materialistic” oils, in the words of the critic Toshiaki Minemura. In the early ’70s he began to make three-dimensional objects and installations out of such materials as steel, canvas, oil, water, clay, and glass. These had a considerable sensuality, of an industrial kind, in their impact, but their materials