Born 1945 in Tokyo, Seiji Kurata graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Painting in 1976. In the same year, he studied photography at the Workshop, featuring instructors including Tomatsu Shomei and other photographers. In 1980, Kurata won the 5th Kimura Ihei Award for his series “Flash Up: Street Photo Random Tokyo 1975-1979”. Active in and out of Japan, his recent exhibitions include “Autophoto” at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (Paris, 2017) and “Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins” at Barbican Art Gallery (London, 2018). His main publications include “Flash Up” (1980, Byakuya Shobo), “Photo Cabaret” (1982, Byakuya Shobo), “Great Asia” (1990, IPC), “‘80s Family” (1991, JICC), “Quest for Eros” (1999, Shinchosha), “Flash Up” (New Edition, 2013, Zen Foto Gallery). Seiji Kurata has passed away on February 27, 2020.


1945 Born in Tokyo
1976 B.F.A.Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music.Tokyo Photo Workshop
1980 Received the 5th Ihei Kimura Prize-Asahi Newspaper
1992 Received the Annual Prize-Japan Photography Society
1999 Received the 30th Prize of Photo section Kodansha publishing

Selected Publications

Flash Up: Street Photo Random Tokyo 1975-1979. Byakuya Shobō (Tokyo, 1980)
Foto Kyabarē (Photo Cabaret). Byakuya Shobō (Tokyo, 1982)
Dai-Ajia (Great Asia). IPC (Tokyo, 1990)
80’s Family: Street Photo Random Japan. JICC (Tokyo, 1991)
Trans Asia. Ōta Shuppan (Tokyo, 1995)
Japan. Photo Musée, Shinchōsha (Tokyo, 1998)
Quest For Eros. Shinchōsha (Tokyo, 1999)
Trans Asia, again! Place M (Tokyo, 2013)
Flash Up (New Edition). Zen Foto Gallery (Tokyo, 2013)
Toshi no zōkei. Super Labo (Tokyo, 2015)
AKB 80’s. Zen Foto Gallery, Little Big Man (Tokyo, London, 2016)
Eros Lost. Zen Foto Gallery (Tokyo, 2020)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1978 Tokyo: Night Dwellers. Canon Photo Gallery, Amsterdam
1979 Street Photo Random Tokyo 1975-79. Nikon Salon, Tokyo and Osaka
1983 Photo Cabaret. Shibuya Doi Photo Plaza, Tokyo
1986 Street Photo Random Tokyo 2. Nikon Salon, Tokyo
1990 Great Asia. Shinjuku Minolta Photo Space, Tokyo
1993 Quest for ErosⅠ. Gallery Mole, Tokyo
1995 Trans Asia. Nikon Salon, Tokyo and Visual Arts School, Osaka
1995 Tokyo: Theatrical Megalopolis. O.K.Harris Gallery, New York,USA
1996 Trans Market -Tokyo Kanda Vegetable and Fruit Market. Nikon Salon Tokyo and Osaka
1999 Japan ‘70s-'90s. Kodak Photo Salon, Tokyo
1999 Quest for Eros PartⅡ, GALLERIA Q, Tokyo
2008 Toshi no zōkei (Colour). Epsite, Tokyo
2009 Toshi no zōkei / Encore Action 21 Around MEX (B&W). PUNCTUM Photo+Graphix, Tokyo
2013 Trans Asia, again! Place M, Tokyo
2014 Flash Up. Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo
2020 Eros Lost. Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo

Selected Group Exhibitions

1978 Fotokina78. Koln, Germany
1979 Japanese Contemporary Photography and Its Origin. Amsterdam, Netherlands and Bologna, Italy.
1981 Snapshot. Konica Gallery, Tokyo
1986 The Flood of Light. The Photographers Gallery, London
1990 10 Contemporary Artists - Document 90 Toyama. Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan.
1991 Beyond Japan. Barbican Art Gallery, London
1995-1996 20 Years of Ihei Kimura Photography Prize. Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and touring around Japan.
1996 New Japanese Photography in the 1990's-The Resonance of Unconsciousness. Yokohama Civic Art Gallery, Yokohama, Japan
1998 ASIA CITY: Circulating Cities. The Photographers’ Gallery, London
1998 Car Culture - The Automobile in 20th Century Photography. Kiyosato Photo Art Museum, Yamanashi, Japan
2017 Autophoto. Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris
2018 Another kind of life: inside the world of outsiders. Barbican Art Gallery, London


International Center of Photography, Brooklyn Museum, The Asahi Shimbun and Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.

Gallery Exhibitions

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Dates: November 4 (Fri) — November 24 (Thu), 2011

Publications & Prints

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