1995, (Out of print) Korinsha Press, (絶版) 光琳社出版
Starring : Ushio Amagatsu
Design : Toshio Yamagata

In his probing investigations of the body beautiful, Mapplethorpe reconsolidated the whole classical-to-contemporary span of Western aesthetics into his photographic expression, and so transformed the entire 1980s art scene. What then of Ueda’s own Eastern body aesthetics? A fateful encounter awaited him in the person of butoh master Ushio Amagatsu. This striking photo-essay on Eastern masculinity garnered the New York Art Directors Club Photography Award in 1996.

Western body, Eastern physique Collaboration with a dance genius
“In the late 1980s I was completely taken with Mapplethorpe and his ultimate body aesthetic. He exerted such a powerful gravitational pull I could only think, What else is there? A tough nut to crack when I was I was 28 or 29 and just starting to come into my own. For despite my growing technical prowess and personal influence, I was still a fledgling photographer, and Mapplethorpe was too intense, too overwhelming. I lost sight of my own photography. Although thinking back on it now, if I hadn’t gone through this phase, I wouldn’t have arrived at my later photography. It forced me to take a re-evaluate at my own vague efforts and demand more of myself, all of which gained me confidence in my own abilities and a wholly different, more stringent direction in photographic expression. A strong impulse awakened in me to ask, What am I?
“And that’s how I came to photograph Amagatsu. In the spring of 1990, Shiseido art director Toshio Yamagata commissioned me to shoot a poster image for the butoh dance company Sankaijuku, and so I met the group’s leader Ushio Amagatsu. During that shoot, I got a strong sense that here was a physique I had to photograph. So afterwards I asked Yamagata to tell him I wanted to continue shooting for my own creative work. Oddly enough, the very day I contacted Yamagata, apparently Amagatsu had also requested that I continue shooting. I was thrilled to say the least, it felt like a predestined synchronicity. Now I could discover muscular forms totally unlike those of Mapplethorpe. If his had been a Western body aesthetic, then my photos of Ushio Amagatsu represented an Eastern body aesthetic. As distinct as the Renaissance figures of Michelangelo and the Buddhist statues of Kamakura period sculptor Unkei, from ancient times up to the present day East and West have clearly held the physical form in a markedly different regard. For me, Amagatsu was all about the use of pure black space, a crucial device that immerses his body in a deep void like a Buddhist deva half-hidden in the shadows of a temple hall.”

from the "Photographer Interview" section of the FujiFilm homepage (used with permission)

肉体の美しさを徹底して掘り下げたメイプルソープは、1980年代当時、古典から現代に至る西洋的な美意識を写真表現で再編し、アートシーン全体に大きな影響力を持った。では上田自身が獲得すべき「東洋の肉体」への美意識とは?やがて、運命的な出会いが待っていた。 稀代の舞踏家、天児牛大を撮影した『AMAGATSU』が1994年に出版された。1996年には、この東洋的な身体を捉えた写真集は、ニューヨークADCにて金賞を受賞する。


FUJIFILM Home Page Fotonoma「The Photographer Interview 幸福な写真に向かって」より掲載。

Tsubaki no NiwaMorini hairu68TH STREETForest KasugaForest QuinaultApple TreeHERMES / AW 2016HERMES / SS 2016MateriaLOFFICIEL JAPANPatagoniaJOURNEYSMemoriesThe Seasonal Beauty of<br /> Japanese CuisineM.GangesKamino ShozoM.VenusM.SeaM.RiverPERU ALPACAMIES VAN DER ROHEJOMONESEA DREAMMateria1986SHIZUMARUNoritakeSHIMAEYUMEFRANCK MULLERONE HUNDRED<br /> STONEWARESBIOSOPHIA of BIRDSCHAMBER of CURIOSITIESat HomeMISAKIPORTRAITPHOTOGRAPHSFRANK LLOYD WRIGHT<br /> falling waterFRANK LLOYD WRIGHT<br /> taliesinFLOWERSAYAKO FUJICONTENPORARY NUDES<br /> 3WOMENAMAGATSUWorks 1985-1993Quinaultinto the silentlandMagazin Portrait 1986 - 2019Works 2020Works 2019Works 2018Works 2017Works 2016Works 2015Works 2014Works 2013Works 2012Works 2011Works 2010Works 2009Works 2008Works 2007Works 2006Works 2005Works 2004Works 2003Works 2002Works 2001Works 2000Works 1999Works 1998Works 1997Works 1996Works 1995Works 1994Works 1993Works 1992Works 1991Works 1990Works 1989Works 1988Works 1987Works 1986Works 1985Works 1982-19840123456789|portfolio