Japanese Photographer Ikkō Narahara

Zen #08, from the series: 'Japanesque', 1969 - Copyright Ikkō Narahara

A former student of photographer Diane Arubus, Ikkō Narahara took a class with her in 1970 and because he didn't speak English he taped her classes hoping to go home and learn by listening to them. A narration of these Diane Arbus class tapes can be heard in this 1972 video featuring Diane's daughter, Doon Arbus.

Narahara was a co-founder of the short-lived Vivo collective of Japanese photographers dedicated to capturing Japan's transition to modernity.

Famous for his use of the wide angle lens, Narahara's work has a surreal quality to it with its high contrast, strong use of shadows and mysterious figures. Many of his images also have a fluid (almost film-like) movement as seen in this image above of a monk running through the halls of his Zen monastery.

I only came to know of Narahara's work today while watching the Diane Arbus video mentioned above... and I instantly became a fan.

See more of Narahara's photographs from the 1950's to the 1970's.

Mika Ninagawa
Brian Y. Sato
Toshiko Okanoue
Tomoko Sawada
Hiroshi Watanabe

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