RIP | Masahisa Fukase

I was very sad to learn today that Masahisa Fukase died on 9 June.  His book Karasu (Ravens) is my all time favourite photobook; shot in in 1976 in Hokkaido in the wake of his divorce, and published in 1986.  A panel of five experts convened by the British Journal of Photography, in 2010, selected Karasu as the best photobook published between 1986 and 2009. Fukase suffered traumatic brain injury from a fall in 1992, and remained in a coma until his death earlier this month.

To quote Sean O’Hagan:

Fukase’s images are grainy, dark and impressionistic. Often, he magnifies his negatives or overexposes them, aiming all the time for mood over technical refinement. He photographs flocks from a distance, and single birds that appear like black silhouettes against grey, wintry skies. They are captured in flight, blurred and ominous, and at rest, perching on telegraph wires, trees, fences and chimneys. Fusake photographs them alive and dead, and maps their shadows in harsh sunlight and their tracks in the snow.  Ultimately, though, it seems that Fukase’s 10-year pursuit of the ravens was a way of trying to make sense of an altogether more personal emotional trauma…..read more here.

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5 Comments to “RIP | Masahisa Fukase”

  1. Thanks for introducing me to this – the atmospheric, almost sensuous drama strikes a chord with my interest in death!

  2. Seriously check out Fukase’s work – haunting and beautiful and yes ravens are meant to symbolise death so totally relevant to your project.

  3. Thank you Tracey. I didn’t know his work.

  4. Best photo-book of the the past 25years? Certainly one of the most memorable.

  5. It’s definitely got my vote Simon!

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