Takada Minayoshi (1899 – 1982), was one of Japanese photography’s most celebrated and experimental pioneers of the pre-war period. Influenced by the Pictorialist school during the 1920s, Takada’s work demonstrates a clear awareness of contemporary international art currents, most obviously in his references to Surrealism and Constructivism.
The dreamlike juxtapositions and abstracted forms which dominate his pictures are animated by a bold graphic sensibility, which does not shy away from close cropping and dramatically inverted contrasts. The sophistication of his imaginative compositions is equalled by Takada’s accomplished command of printing’s technical aspects, often using double negatives and transparencies to register several prints within densely suggestive composite images.
An active participant in Japan’s thriving regional camera club scene, Takada worked closely with Yamamoto Kansuke, who spoke fluent French and regularly corresponded with contemporary Surrealists including André Breton and Salvador Dali. Together, Takada and Yamamoto founded the VIVI group and the Mado (‘window’) Society in their home region, Aichi Prefecture, and they participated in numerous exhibitions across Japan throughout their careers.