Artist of the Year Award: Eikoh Hosoe

Eikoh Hosoe is irrefutably one of the leading photographers in Japan, and one with a large international following. Born in 1933, Hosoe began photography at the age of 15 and adopted the name “Eikoh” to symbolize the new Japan which was emerging after WW II.

While he was a student at the Tokyo College of Photography in the early 1950s, Hosoe joined the experimental arts movement. Together with Shomei Tomatsu and other contemporaries, he founded the VIVO agency (1959–61), recognized for its provocative new approach to photography.

Known for his psychologically-charged images, along with a strong narrative sense, Hosoe explores themes such as death, Eros, and mysticism. His collaborations with prominent artists from different fields have produced powerful works such as Barakei/Ordeal by Roses with the writer Yukio Mishima and Kamaitachi with the avant-garde Butoh dancer Tatsumi Hijikata. “To me photography can be simultaneously both a record and a mirror or window of self-expression.”

Hosoe has been the director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (K'MoPA) since its opening in 1995. When Friends Without A Border began fundraising for a pediatric hospital in Cambodia, it was K'MoPA which provided the seed money by acquiring the entire series of platinum-palladium prints of Angkor images by Kenro Izu. K'MoPA continues to host annual charity events for Friends, which is in keeping with its guiding philosophy that celebrates a boundless sympathy with all forms of life.

Friends Without A Border is grateful for the generous support that Eikoh and K'MoPA have provided over the decades. It is our great honor to present the Artist of the Year Award to Mr. Eikoh Hosoe.

Photograph of Eikoh Hosoe above by Kenji Hosoe.
Photograph on the homepage by Jean-Baptiste Huynh.