While major exhibitions of Japanese photography have become steadily more frequent over the last thirty years, Ravens & Red Lipstick offers one of the first overviews of the subject to be published in English.
Visually bold and richly detailed, this volume traces the development of Japanese photography from the severity of post-war Realism to the diversity and technical ingenuity of photography in contemporary Japan, via movements and groups such as Vivo in the late 1950s/early 1960s, Provoke in the 1960s, and “girls’ photography” in the 1990s. Interleaved are new interviews with some of the most influential practitioners in photographic history, from Moriyama Daido and Araki Nobuyoshi to Kawauchi Rinko and Ninagawa Mika.
Curator and art-historian Lena Fritsch writes with imagination and clarity, interrogating a cross-section of photographic movements and works against the vivid, shifting backdrop of Japanese social, cultural and political history. Fritsch’s great achievement is to bring observations from a range of disciplines to bear on her commentary. As a result, this comprehensively illustrated volume is both an accessible introduction and an illuminating work of analysis for general readers and aficionados alike.
Lena Fritsch is a specialist in 20th-and 21st-century Japanese art and photography and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Ashmolean Museum (University of Oxford). Her publications include The Body as a Screen: Japanese Art Photography of the 1990s and an English-language edition of Moriyama Daido’s Tales of Tono. Fritsch is also an experienced translator of the language.