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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2009
Presented here in a beautifully slipcased edition, the reader has to hand two high quality hardcover books.

Katsushika Hokusai was a Japanese artist, and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time, he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese woodblock painting. Hokusai is best-known as author of the series "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" which includes the iconic and internationally recognised print, "The Great Wave off Kanagawa", created during the 1820s.

Nobuyoshi Araki is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist - who specialises in photography ranging from the erotic existence of life found both human and plant form, through to reportage-style imagery, Kinbaku rope bondage, the aesthetic of fine art photography and through to commercial porn (which is rarely reproduced outside of his native country).

This catalog presents for the first time photographs of the Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki in combination with classical Japanese woodcuts from the Hanoverian collection of Michael Thun, which belong to the best of their type to be found anywhere in Europe.

Approximately one hundred current photographs, never exhibited before, from Araki's notorious Bondage series are presented together with small-format woodcuts. Upon closer inspection, the woodcuts reveal only slightly concealed allusions to erotic desire and sexuality. It is not only where sexual activities may be seen that Araki's spiritual affinity with his artistic ancestors becomes clear.

What the reader/viewer receives becomes stimulating in its sense of juxtaposition between the two forms. For while fans of Araki may find the work contained herein to be somewhat less engaging than can be found elsewhere when viewed alone - it is the subtleties in variation between the two forms where contradiction, mirroring or new meaning develops by contrasting and comparing the two books that makes this set so exciting.
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