In memory of Kurata Seiji (1945-2020), Zen Foto Gallery will present “Eros Lost / Flash Up”, an exhibition of two series of works by the artist. After publishing "Flash Up" (2013) and "AKB 80's" (2016) with Kurata, Zen Foto has been working with him on publishing a new edition of his nude photography in the past two years. Sadly, Kurata has passed away before the completion of the publication in February 2020. Over a 40-year career, Kurata continued his dialogue with the camera. His works are highly regarded for his continual explorations into both the conception of his subjects and the techniques of image-making. This exhibition will feature approximately 6 works from his representative series "Flash Up" from the 1970s and 12 works from the series “Eros Lost” from the late 1980s. Distinctive from his other series, “Eros Lost” was shot mostly indoors and staged with lighting and scripts. Kurata experimentally sculpted the portraits of humans in conjunction with mechanical installations, theatrical performances, objects, and interior decoration. The dynamism of nudity, motion, and avidity was depicted within the images.

Additionally, the music album "Rusty Times" (to be released in Fall 2020) by the Croatian music creator Plazmatick (Marko Mihalinec) is played at this exhibition. This is a collaboration promise made between Kurata and Plazmatick before Kurata passed away.

“Seiji Kurata — A Personal Reminiscence of His Later Years” Mark Pearson:

Artist Profile


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.

Publications & Prints