Was this Japanese photographer the ultimate selfie master?

Ashleigh Kane, Dazed magazine, November 13, 2015

Half-submerged in his bathtub, Masahisa Fukase channelled heartbreak into this poignant series of self-portraits.


On the surface, Masahisa Fukase's Bukubuku might feel like a humorous – albeit dark – take on the self portrait. Playing around in the bathtub, even the book’s title is an homage to the noise of blowing bubbles. However, delving deeper into his biography, the black and white images of the Japanese photographer, taken in 1991, alone and submerged in his bathtub are symbolic of the isolation and loneliness he felt at the time. Once a primary focus of his work, his marriage to second wife Yōko Wanibe – which he previously reflected on in his seminal work Karasu (translating to Ravens) – had broken down, his father had passed away and his business had failed.


"he saw this very much as a performance piece of work and was shaped by Fukase as an introspective and mournful soliloquy to his ex-wife Yoko, just after he learnt that she had gotten remarried.” - Michael Hoppen