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CEPA show explores diverse career of Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe

The revered Japanese artist Eikoh Hosoe, whose photographs serve as records of Japan’s flourishing avant garde culture and meditations on the human soul, is the focus of an exhibition opening at 7 p.m. June 24 in CEPA Gallery (617 Main St.).

“Eikoh Hosoe: Revisitations to a Vacuum’s Nest” features images from the archive of Rochester’s Visual Studies Workshop, including his stark, black-and-white portraits of the Japanese performer Tatsumi Hijikata and author Yukio Mishima. The show also contains selections from Hosoe’s “Kamaitachi” series, in which he used his camera to turn the Japanese countryside into a mythical landscape haunted by chilling apparition.

In an introduction to one of Hosoe’s books quoted on the website American Suburb X, Mishima wrote that being photographed by the artist “was an exhilarating experience, a state of affairs I had long dreamed of.” He went on to compare Hosoe’s approach to photography to that of a writer: “Hosoe merely explored via the medium of his camera – much as the novelist uses words and the composer sounds – the various combinations in which the objects to be photographed could be placed, and the light and shadow which made these combinations possible.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, which runs through Aug. 27, Squeaky Wheel (also in the Market Arcade Building) will feature screenings of recorded performances featuring Hosoe and many of those he has photographed. Call 857-2717 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski