Born 1945 in Tokyo, Kurata Seiji graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Painting in 1976. From 1974 to 1976, he also 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 “Street Photo Random Tokyo 1975-1979”. Recognized 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: Photo Street Random 1975-1979” (1980, Byakuya Shobo), “Photo Cabaret” (1982, Byakuya Shobo), “Great Asia” (1990, IPC), “‘80s Family” (1991, JICC), “Japan” (1998, Shinchosha), “Quest for Eros” (1999, Shinchosha), “Flash Up” (New Edition, 2013, Zen Foto Gallery), and “Eros Lost” (2020, Zen Foto Gallery). Kurata 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
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 Kurata Seiji Memorial Exhibition "Eros Lost / Flash Up". Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo

Selected Group Exhibitions

1978 Fotokina78. Koln
1979 Japanese Contemporary Photography and Its Origin. Amsterdam and Bologna
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
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
1998 ASIA CITY: Circulating Cities. The Photographers’ Gallery, London
1998 Car Culture - The Automobile in 20th Century Photography. Kiyosato Photo Art Museum, Yamanashi
2017 Autophoto. Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris
2018 Another kind of life: inside the world of outsiders. Barbican Art Gallery, London


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


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

Gallery Exhibitions

Ecce Home

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

Publications & Prints

Related News / Blog