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Kiyoshi NISHIYAMA "Seasonal Aspects of Japan" 1979 Photobook Sonorama #21


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Kiyoshi NISHIYAMA, photographer. "Sonorama Shashin Sensho 21: " - "Seasonal Aspects of Japan." Japan: Asahi Sonorama, 1979, First Edition, OOP, HB, dj, as issued, 21 cm x 22 cm, 120 pp, b/w photos, text in Japanese and English.

Volume number 21 from the famed Sonorama series of Japanese Photographers. The Sonorama series included works from almost every great name in Japanese Photography including Eikoh Hosoe, Hajime Sawatari, Nobuyoshi Araki, Diado Moriyama, Masahisa Fukase, Ikko Narahara, Masaya Nakamura, Shoji Ueda, Kikuji Kawada, Tomatsu Shomei and more. The book is divided into five sections: Part I — 1924-1941; Part II — Spring; Part III — Summer; Part IV - Autumn; Part V - Winter. The 30 photos in the first section are all of Nishiyama's pre-WWII art that survived the air raids on Tokyo. The next four sections are beautiful landscapes in the four seasons, a traditional theme of Japanese Art. "Kiyoshi Nishiyama (1893-1983) was best known for landscapes that followed the "light and its harmony" aesthetic of Shinzo Fukuhara, which was itself a reaction to the technique of heavily worked pigment prints that was then prevalent among photographic artists in Japan. In this, he was a key figure in the emerging Modernist aesthetic in Japan that paralleled to a certain extent work being done by the likes of Strand and Weston."--photo-eye.

Biography: Kiyoshi Nishiyama (1893–1983) was a versatile Japanese amateur photographer who specialized in landscapes. Born in Tokyo in 1893, Nishiyama became interested in photography at 15. He intended to become a professional photographer and learned retouching in a photographic studio at Ryogoku, but never turned professional, instead in 1921 setting up a photographic supplies shop, Heiwado, in Nihonbashi, and at about the same time starting up and leading a photographic club, the Pleasant Club (Purezanto Kurabu), and submitting his photographs to photographic magazines. In 1922 Nishiyama won the first prize for his submission, taken with a Vest Pocket Kodak, to a competition at the Heiwa Kinen Tokyo Hakurankai. A year later he lost all his photographs and cameras in the Great Kanto Earthquake, but persevered and held the first exhibition of the Pleasant Club in 1924. Nishiyama was impressed by the "light and its harmony" aesthetic of Shinzo Fukuhara, who invited him to join the Japan Photographic Society; Nishiyama soon thereafter had a solo exhibition at the Shiseido Gallery. From 1925 Nishiyama began the first of several series of photographs in Photo Times magazine; these were on a variety of subjects but most notable was Nishiyama's portrayal of the cityscape of Tokyo after the earthquake. From 1928 Shirai used a Rolleiflex camera, and turned this to photographing Nikko and bunraku (the subjects of solo exhibitions); he later added a Leica, but from 1959 changed to a Nikon F that he always used with a 50 mm lens. Virtually all of Nishiyama's prewar work was destroyed in the bombing of Tokyo. Nishiyama continued to exhibit and publish after the war. In 1954 he won the PSJ (Photographic Society of Japan) award, and in 1977 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, 5th class, for his services to photography. He died on 5 March 1983. Nishiyama's work is held in the permanent collections of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Nihon University (which preserves what little remains of Nishiyama's prewar work).

Condition: Very Good.

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