Nakahira Takuma

12:00nn - 8:00pm
Huang Yaji
Nakahira Takuma


NAKAHIRA Takuma (1938-2015) is perhaps the most important yet most underrated figure in Japanese photography. A pioneering thinker and writer, he engaged himself in relentless interrogation about the theory and practice of image-making throughout his entire life. As co-founder of PROVOKE, the experimental magazine synonymous with his trademark “are, bure, boke” (grainy, blurry, out of focus) style, Nakahira helped revolutionise post-war Japanese photography and influenced countless artists.


Regardless, it was not long before Nakahira, a sensitive and deeply introspective person, gradually renounced his iconic style. Seeing that photography had pushed reality further away, he destroyed all his photographs in 1973 and set out to propose new theories and methodologies. Yet disillusionment set in, and ultimately he fell to the nadir of his artistic practice, suffering acute alcohol poisoning in 1977, with traumatic memory loss and aphasia. This series of events has contributed to his relative anonymity.


“Nakahira Takuma”, the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong of work by the late artist, is curated by Taipei-based curator HUANG Yaji. The landmark exhibition is displayed across two levels of the venue as a way to examine the various phases of Nakahira’s creative practice from the 1960s to 2015: from PROVOKE to For a Language to Come (1968-1970); from ‘Circulation’ to ‘Overflow’ (1971-1974), and ultimately to his colour series (2003-2015). The exhibition illuminates Nakahira’s explorations in photographic thinking and practice, which eventually culminated in his shift to colour photography, described as a “view point devoid of subjectivity”, which stands in stark contrast to the directions taken by most photographers or theories of photography—particularly the mainstream perspectives on photography in the West.

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