L'oeil de la Photographie explored our current "Three Masters of Erotic Photography" exhibition.
Born in Tokyo in 1940, Kishin Shinoyama is one of Japan's most famous photographers, known mainly for nude photo books of famous Japanese actresses and pop idols. He came into the limelight in 1961 when he received the APA Award from the Japan Advertising Photographer's Association. In 1968 Shinoyama got his big break with Birth, a series of nudes shot on a beach in Okinawa and shown at the Ginza Nikon Salon in 1968. In 1970 Shinoyama was shown and published internationally, and was the subject of an essay by Yukio Mishima, the foremost Japanese author of that time. HIs portrait of Mishima as a bound and pierced St. Sebastian made shortly before the writer’s suicide is one of the best known of all Japanese photographs. In 1976, he represented Japan at the 37th Venice Biennale -- the first time a solo exhibition format was adopted by the Japanese Pavilion. His 1991 nude book Santa Fe portraying top actress Rie Miyazawa spearheaded Japan's lifting of the pubic hair ban in print media. It remains Japan's best-selling photo book of all time with over 1.5 million copies sold. Shinoyama is active today as one of Japan's most well-known photographers and is a recipient of many awards. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, and the Yokohama Museum of Art.