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KUSAKABE KIMBEI

PAYSAN TATOUÉ

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About the artwork

Japan, about 1875. The technique of traditional Japanese tattoo has several names, irezumi or horimono. Horimono refers to tattoo in general. However, irezumi is the term generally assigned to traditional tattoo covering large parts of the body, going as far as the typically Japanese integral tattoo, which covers the body like a second skin. Japanese tattoo patterns are influenced by traditional art, popular stories and religion.

The artist

Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934), one of the most accomplished Japanese photographers of his time, ran a studio in Yokohama from the early 1880 s until 1913. Kusakabe Kimbei worked with Felice Beato and Baron Raimund von Stillfried as an assistant photographer colourist before opening his own workshop in the Bentendori area of Yokohama in 1881. He also opened a branch in the Ginza area of Tokyo. As Baron von Stillfried’s protégé, Kusakabe Kimbei continued the tradition of studio portraits and took shots of the country while he developed his own Japanese sense of photography. Likened today to postcards, his work was collected by tourists and exported for sale as curiosities to those who could not visit Japan. He stopped working as a photographer in 1912-1913.  ... See more See less

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