Size: 3 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. (95 x 140 mm)
Price: ¥130,000 JPY
Item#: AP-108 Artist: Suizan Kurokawa
Image or title: pagoda and wisteria at Nara
Date: 1920s Medium: gelatin silver print

Description: this glossy print came from a group of photos taken by Kurokawa in Nara. Some had his red hanko stamp on the reverse and all prints were identical in size and type of photo paper used. Condition excellent.

Suizan Kurokawa (1882 - 1944):

Often considered the father of Japanese pictorialism photography, Kurokawa was born in Kyoto with his birth name being Tanejiro Kurokawa. The son of a Kyoto textile merchant, he worked in his family's business until the age of thirteen. In 1900, due to heavily incurred debts, the family firm went bankrupt. This event had great impact on Kurokawa and as a result he began to pursue photography. In 1906 he entered a photo competition at the Sensho Kinen Hakurankai Exposition, held to commemorate Japan's victory in the Russo-Japan War. His work entitled Ame Ato (After the Rain) showed a view of Mount Hie which garnered him a silver award. This became the spark that launched his career.

Kurokawa was regularly published in the Osaka based magazine Shashin Reidai-shu (lit. Photo Example magazine) around 1910. He was also employed in the photo department of the Hakubun-kan publishing company's Kyoto office. His photographs were also published in photography journals, as well as kabuki magazines during the 1910s and 1920s. He is best known for ethereal views of landscapes and cultural landmarks, portrayed in a style heavily influenced by sansui-ga. This traditional style of Japanese painting interpreted through photography became Kurokawa's trademark. As a result, his concepts had a strong influence on many Japanese pictorialist during the peak years of 1910 to 1925.

Additional notes:

A major holding of Kurokawa's work is kept in the permanent collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

He has also been published in:

- Shashin Kai (Photographic Journal), Vol. IV, no. 3, plate 4, Mar. 1, 1909, S. Kuwada & Sons., Osaka.

- Geijutsu Shashin-hen, Vol. 4, page 14, ARS Publishing, Tokyo, 1929-1930.

- The Pictorial Landscape in Japanese Photography, plates 1-5, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, 1992.

- Japanese Photography-Form In/Form Out Part I, plate 30, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, 1996.