Shomei Tomatsu

Prostitute, Nagoya, 1958
© Shomei Tomatsu courtesy Studio Equis

Shomei Tomatsu

Silver Gelatin Print

42 x 35 cm

Shomei Tomatsu, one of the leading post-war Japanese photographers, he was born in 1930 in Nagoya. He graduated with a degree in economics in 1954. Tomatsu’s career in photography had started already during his days as an economics student, when he had his photographs published by leading Japanese photography magazines. After his graduation he worked for a while at Iwanami Shoten publishing agency, before turning to freelance. He was then a part of VIVO (1957-1961), a photography cooperative, along with two other major Japanese photographers Ikko Narahara and Eikoh Hosoe. He moved to Okinawa in the 70s and lived there for almost 30 years, before moving to Nagasaki at the age of 68, where he continues to reside.

Tomatsu is perhaps best known as for his photographs from the book Hiroshima-Nagasaki Document 1961 and well as his documentation of Japan during it’s post-war transformation, like in the series Chewing Gum and Chocolate and Americanization, these series expressed the positive and negative influences of the American occupation.

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