Fukase, Masahisa (1934 - 2012)

Nayoro, 1977

Series: Modern Masters of Photography
Medium: Photography
Date: Printed 2005
Size (H x W): 13 x 19 (inches)
Signature: Fukase Masahisa (reverse)
Condition: Excellent condition



The expressionistic character of Fukase's work was, in part, the result of the development of the generation that evolved after World War II. Fukase's emotionally charged Ravens series began with a chance to photograph a flock of crows on his native Hokkaido. Fukase deepens the sense of melancholy and loss as the photographs progress to produce a sequence of immensely humane and daring images that draw in many aspects of modern Japan. The pattern of black silhouettes in the sky resembles the brushstrokes in traditional Japanese sumi-e calligraphic painting.

About the artist

Masahisa Fukase was born in 1934 on the northern island of Hokkaido, where his family operated a photographic portrait studio. In 1956, he graduated from Nihon University with a degree in photography. He subsequently worked for an advertising agency before turning to freelance work in 1968. In 1974, he participated in the New Japanese Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His first book, Yugi - Homo Ludence (1971), was centered on his wife Yoko. Following their divorce in 1976, Fukase returned to Hokkaido, where he began a series on ravens, which was eventually turned into his acclaimed book Karasu - Ravens (in English, The Solitude of Ravens) (1991). The ominously dark photographs reflected his increasingly depressed state of mind. In 1977, he received the Ina Nobuo Award.