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

Image: Kyoto potato farmer maidens.
Item #: AP-112
Artist: Suizan Kurokawa
Date: 1910s
Price: 130,000 JY
Description: gelatin silver print.
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Image: pagoda and wisteria at Nara.
Item #: AP-108
Artist: Suizan Kurokawa
Date: 1910s
Price: 130,000 JY
Description: gelatin silver print.
Image: Kyoto country maiden.
Item #: AP-118
Artist: Suizan Kurokawa
Date: 1910s
Price: 130,000 JY
Description: gelatin silver print.
Image: Kyoto country maiden with bundles.
Item #: AP-115
Artist: Suizan Kurokawa
Date: 1910s
Price: 130,000 JY
Description: gelatin silver print.
Image: Shoko no Arashiyima (Early Summer at Arashiyama).
Item #: AP-030
Artist: Suizan Kurokawa
Date: 1910s
Price: 20,000 JY
Description: photogravure.
Image: Fuji-san (Mount Fuji).
Item #: AP-171
Artist: Suizan Kurokawa
Date: 1924
Price: 25,000 JY
Description: large format photogravure poster