Masahisa Fukase and the sorrow of lost love, solitude and death

JESSICA KLINGELFUSS, Wallpaper*, February 25, 2016

Masahisa Fukase's sorrow seeps through his later photographs like a poison: painful, suffocating, and all consuming. For eight years, the Japanese photographer obsessively captured ravens in his native Hokkaido, vainly seeking an antidote to the venom of a failed marriage.


His second wife and muse Yōko left him in 1976, and a mournful Fukase careened into a crippling depression. Drinking heavily, the photographer found refuge in the birds that flocked around his local train station. Published in 1986, the photobook Ravens (or Karasu) was born from his heartbreak. Now, a rare collection of prints from this seminal series has been unveiled in a new exhibition opening this week at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London.