To mark its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain invited the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki to document his everyday life. Over the course of seven weeks in the spring of that year, Araki obliged with his characteristic obsessiveness, photographing daily.
From 'Hi-Nikki (Non-Diary Diary)', by Nobuyoshi Araki. Courtesy of Nobuyoshi Araki and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris
The resulting 1,250 photographs – originally published in a weekly online slideshow – have now been packed into 696 pages of a newly published and voluminous tome. In Hi-Nikki (Non-Diary Diary), Araki turns his lens on Tokyo, erotic portraits of young women and sensual still-lifes, as well as his favourite haunts in the district of Kabukichō.
The book weaves a rich visual tale that requires no words, save for the back cover, where Araki muses: ‘My heart beats; I squeeze the shutter. Less a diary, more a transcript of time. This is life: when the beat stops, I’ll be dead.’