by Akira Gomi
No one could deny that YELLOWS, in all of its beauty and ugliness, is an invaluable documentary that records the real bodies of real Japanese girls in the 1990s. It further evokes a unique relationship between the photographer and subject. Simply posing in the studio, yet under Gomi’s direction, models turn this space into a private castle where they cannot be dominated. The photographer attentively produces their images from within this castle. Strangely enough, their behavior somehow seem unrealistic. It might be because some subtle emotion such as love or penance is being exchanged in the sunlight.
The nudes in this album were neither stripped ( as subjects would feel ashamed ) nor posed to appeal to the viewer’s voyeuristic impulses. Rather, the nudes in the pictures are as natural as naked animals.
Naturalness instills neither the essence of things nor reality. It is the least artistic means to express a subject’s best features. Simple agreeableness, not truth , is depicted.
Photogaraphy has already stopped reflecting truth as it did in the past, and instead reflects the sensibility of the times. it exists as an attempt to portray nature and to produce records of what is agreeable.
This is a complete reversal from when criminological and anthropological photography was used to record the ugliness of the times. Photography was real then because it was grotesque. When it was not agreeable, photography was no longer considered photography.