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"Araki is a superstar in Japan. You realize this if you chart his wake through the streets of Shinjuku--young girls screeching, yakuza gangsters pointing, salary men stopping dead in their tracks. No photographer in the West has this kind of public visibility. The people of Tokyo love Araki--he's one of their own, a homeboy, and he loves them back: his work has been one long poem to his city of birth and of choice." Nobuyoshi Araki: When I photograph unhappiness I only capture unhappiness, but when I photograph happiness, life, death, and everything else comes through. Unhappiness seems grave and heavy; happiness is light, but happiness has its own heaviness, a looming sense of death. The camera itself, the photograph itself, calls up death. Also, I think about death when I photograph, which comes out in the print. Perhaps that's an Oriental, Buddhist perception. To me, photography is an act in which my "self" is pulled out via the subject. Photography was destined to be involved with death. Reality is in color, but at its beginnings photography always discolored reality and turned it into black and white. Color is life, black and white is death. A ghost was hiding in the invention of photography.
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