one of my favorite japanese photographers, shoots famous living people enacting out their fantasy death (usually wearing some exorbitant designer clothes in the process). just posted this tid bit in the fashoin photography books thread:
Born 1954 in Kyoto. Tokyo-based photographer and TV commercial director. Formerly the chief editor of zyappu, a progressive fashion magazine which folded in 1999 when publisher Korinsha went out of business.
One regular feature of the magazine was a short pictorial called "Serial Murders of Actresses." It featured photos of an imaginary murder of a famous Japanese actress who lies dead in a river, road, or elsewhere while wearing brand-name clothing cited in the caption.
As a special guest of PhotoGuide Japan, Izima-san exhibited 16 photographs titled Landscapes With a Corpse. He had four series of photos, each one showing a well-known Japanese actress dressed as a corpse. There was MATSUYUKI Yasuko wearing Gucci and lying in an empty bathtub (above photo), Catase Rino wearing Sybilla lying on the roadside on the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo (top right), six girls wearing X-girl scattered on a beach in Okinawa, and SHINOHARA Ryoko wearing Vivienne Westwood in a men's restroom at an expressway rest stop (top left).
His work provoked the strongest response (both positive and negative) from viewers. He also came to the slide show and gave an interesting talk explaining the concept behind his corpse series. One of his objectives of this series was to bring the subject of death more out in the open
Renowned fashion photographer Izima Kaoru collaborates with famous Japanese actresses to stage elaborate death scenes that remind us how variously the world’s cultures handle the subjects of beauty and death. This new monograph of Kaoru’s latest work poses the question, "Why canÕt a corpse be beautiful?"
Kaoru’s narratives, which are generally suggested by the subject herself, present a heroine who is perfect in her demise. Clothed in Yohji Yamamoto or Jil Sander, the young beauty is captured from multiple viewpoints – each an elegant composition based on the figure in a landscape. Setting, cause of death and attire are key elements in Kaoru’s unconventional photographs
from http://www.vonlintel.com/PUBLICATION...ons_Kaoru.html a few more pics there UA in toga
In Buddhist practice, it is remmended to meditate on death as a way of reducing attachement to life`s distractions. Although his subjects are hardly renunciants, Izima has suggested that by sumulating death, they might be helped to accept it. While this may or may not be true, it is certain that death is viewed differently in traditional Japanese culture than it is in the West. Of course, the death scenes in “Landscapes with a Corpse“ are fantasies. However, they draw on a long tradition of romantic themes, tragic endings and “beautiful deaths“ in Japanese art, literature, and theatre. In the real world, death - whether slow or sudden - is all too often ignominious. But Izimas subjeects have obviously left this world in style.
In “Landscapes with a corpse“ the dissolution of the subject is achieved through the use of multiple viewpoints, panoramic or aerial views give way to close – ups; the camera drops into a field of sunflowers to reveal a body among the stalks, or through the branches of a flowering cherry to find the woman huddled
against his trunks. But it is also possible to read each group of photographs in reverse. Drawing back from the corpse reveals a quotidien world of apartment buildings (in which, presumably, life goes on) utility poles and power lines, public parks and backyards, in which the corpse itself is barely noticeable.
Seen close-up, Izima´s corpses are startling, frozen at the moment of death, as fresh as Mapplethorpe`s cut flowers. Certainly, both may appeal to fantasoes of power and pleasure, and it is possible to equate the forensic photograph, the erotic photograph, and the fashion photograph, in that any of them may depict the beautiful woman as oject. However, in Izima`s “ “Landscapes with a corpse“, the subjects reassert their personalities. Here, the narrative has usually been suggested by the model herself.
Earlier photographs in Izima`s “Landscapes with a corpse” series had a definite Pop sensibility. But his recent works are more formal and restrained. Some are virtually monochromes, while in others a touch of pure color glows in a field of more subdued shades. In their attention to pure form, and, in particular, to the irregular forms created by bodies encased in fabric, they echo the UKIYO-E – pictures of the floating world – of the Edo period.
itaya yuko in john galliano