Kohei Yoshiyuki, Document Kouen / Document Park, 1980

Dust jacket with obi (belly-band) back and front

Dust jacket with obi (belly-band) back and front

Japanese photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki uses infrared film to capture heterosexual and homosexual nocturnal activities in the parks of Tokyo. As well as the participants, he photographs the voyeurs spying, or those trying to involve themselves in the action. Often referred to as a social document, one has to ask the question what role does the photographer himself play here? Is he the dedicated, but detached, photojournalist risking arrest or danger for a good story, or is he really just another voyeur? And to take that train of thought to its logical conclusion, what does it say about us, the audience of this book? Are we drawn to it by the story, the mysterious and sometimes disturbing looking images, or is there something else? The book certainly relies heavily on our very human trait of peep show, or even freak show, curiosity. Don’t get me wrong, I think Document Kouen ( Document Park) is an interesting publication and a great photography book. I love photobooks like this which are quirky or odd.

Published in 1980 by Seven Sha

The book is structured into three main parts. The image chapters are:

Part 1  60 pages with night images of heterosexual couples enjoying themselves in the park.

Part 2  20 pages with night images of homosexual activities in the park.

Part 3  16 pages with images from a love hotel tv screen showing pornographic movies.

The book closes with a section of text:

7 pages Burning words – 1 (a conversation of Kohei Yoshiyuki with Matsumoto Kenichi)

4 pages Burning words – 2 (a conversation of Kohei Yoshiyuki with Nobuyoshi Araki)

1 page Burning words – 3 (a text by Kohei Yoshiyuki about this project)

and 1 page of advertising for records

Soft cover with dust jacket and obi (belly-band)

App. 21.3 x 25.8 cm

112 pages

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