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on 16 December 2008
This is the most passionate, intensely arousing art photography book since John Santerineross published his book, DREAM in 2004. It is a spectacularly beautiful production. Each of Murata's black & white photographs is an intricately hand-colored (by his young female muse, Yumiko Yamasaki), and the scenarios and sets are fantastical dreamscapes. The girls are featured within are delicate beauties, almost waif-like, and each very, very pretty. But there is more here than just a parade of comely Japanese models, there is also a most powerful element of sexual energy. Inspired by ancient Japanese traditions and sexual rituals, Murata crafts for us an alternate reality where his subjects prance and posture and and sometimes spread their delicate, snow-white legs as though they were sacrificial virgins offering themselves to us ... like we were Gods. They serve not only to enchant, but to stimulate our deepest, most ravishing immortal passions. Admittedly, some of the imagery is extreme, but overall this is an uplifting, cerebral, intoxicating experience.

This is a large (31.5x24cm), hardcover book and consists of 84 pages with 77 full-page photographs. Text is written in English, French, and German.
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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2008
Enter a sensuous world of magic and myth.
It's a tantalizing insight to the realm of the senses.
We are invited into the land of fables and fairytales - often dark and gothic - where the beautiful and grotesque sometimes dwell.
It's a study executed in hand-colored, mono-chromed prints of women discovering their sexuality; whist the author explores his primitive fears and primal passions; the beginning of life, emotional security and the fear of death.
See Nymphs and Nubiles - Sirens seducing themselves, or having been seduced by demons - stiring yearnings of innocence lost and maybe a desire for future encounters.
Inspired, perhaps by the graphic detail and symbolism of Shunga artists of another time and place - the works are unsettlingly evocative - a contemporary take on the traditional work of pastmasters - Hokusai, Issho and Utamaro.
The stories unfold in a series of images - a tantalizing view of another world.
Ken-ichi Murata is the creator and photographer with color added by his muse Yumiko Yamasaki - he is alive and kicking today - and you can enjoy a visit his website.
He seems to capture in a moment - the sensitivity and psychological nuances of his subject - intoxicating images that suggest the elusive and enchanting nature of desire.
Whatever - theirs is the enduring story of the beauty and the beast.
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