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Masahisa Fukase

Masahisa Fukase
English / Japanese


80 pages
310 x 230 mm
ISBN 9781912339570


For three generations the Fukase family ran a photography studio in Bifuka, a small provincial town in the northern Japanese province of Hokkaido. In August 1971, at the age of 35, Masahisa Fukase returned home from Tokyo, where he had moved in the 1950s. He realised that the Fukase Photographic Studio, which his younger brother managed, combined with the growing family members, constituted the perfect subject for a series of portraits. Between 1971 and 1989, he returned regularly and used the family studio, the large-format Anthony view camera and the changing family line-up as the basis for the series. True to his style, Fukase often introduced third-party models and humorous elements to juxtapose the ineluctable reality of time passing and the dwindling family group. He continued the series through his father’s death in 1987, up until the closure of the Fukase studio due to bankruptcy in 1989, and the consequential dispersion of the family. Family (Kazoku) was released in 1991, and was Fukase’s last book. It begins with a photograph of the family studio and the following 31 images are family portraits made in the studio in chronological order. The book includes an extensive text written by Fukase himself and a modern essay by Tomo Kosuga.


About the Artist
Masahisa Fukase (Hokkaido, 1934 – 2012) is considered one of the most radical and experimental photographers of the post-war generation in Japan. He would become world-renowned for his photographic series and subsequent publication Karasu (The English title: Ravens, 1975 – 1985), which is widely celebrated as a photographic masterpiece. And yet the larger part of his oeuvre remained largely inaccessible for over two decades. In 1992 a tragic fall had left the artist with permanent brain damage, and it was only after his death in 2012 that the archives were gradually disclosed. Since then a wealth of material has surfaced that had never been shown before.

About the Publisher 

MACK is an independent art and photography publishing house based in London. Mack works with established and emerging artists, writers and curators, and cultural institutions, releasing between 20-25 books per year. The publisher was founded in 2010 in London by Michael Mack.

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