Kohei Yoshiyuki, Untitled, 1973
Looking at Kohei Yoshiyukis photobook „The Park “ (Hatje Cantz), sexuality does not shock, it is the shameless voyeurism. Yoshiyuki has taken the photos during the early seventies of the last century in three parks of Tokyo: Shinjuku, Yoyogi and Aoyama. With a flashlight or infrared film he shot hetero-and homosexual couples at secret places. However, besides, they are never alone, everywhere voyeurs vagabond to observe the sexual encounters or to take part. It is one of those photo books from the seventies which try to provoke, like a whole social movement which wanted to provoke change.
Kohei Yoshiyuki, Untitled, 1971
The artist Noboyushi Araki also belonged to them, he photographed sex shows and prostitutes as well as their customers and became partially himself a part of the depiction. Yoshiyuki is reserved concerning this and lets the viewer only by the eye of his camera be one of the surreptitious observers of the night scenes.
Kohei Yoshiyuki, Untitled, 1972
Martin Parr writes in The Photobook : A History, Volume II, The Park is “a brilliant piece of social documentation, capturing perfectly the loneliness, sadness, and desperation that so often accompany sexual or human relationships in a big, hard metropolis like Tokyo .” So Araki and Yoshiuyuki are two photographer who leave the viewer of their pictures with ambivalent emotions, sometimes driven by curiosity and lust but shocked by the commercialization of human needs and the restlessness of sexual drives seemingly without true relationships.