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Kohei Yoshiyuki’s infamous series The Park attracts and repulses in equal measure. Shot with infrared film in the 1970s, the images capture illicit gay and straight coupling, and the voyeurs who liked to watch, in three different Tokyo parks. The work is grainy and raw, clearly belonging to the Provoke era; flashes of bodies emerge and the underbrush, hands and legs twist together, and a whole hidden world suddenly becomes known. To be able to make the pictures, Yoshiyuki had to gain his subject’s trust, and himself become a participant; consequently, each viewer becomes a voyeur, inches way from the cathartic release from what Martin Parr called “the loneliness, sadness, and desperation” of relationships in big cities.

The work will be view through November 15, at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, as part of the 2012 Liverpool Biennial. It is accompanied by Yoshiyuki’s companion series Love Hotel, made up of stills from sex tapes taken in Tokyo’s by-the-hour hotels.

Kohei Yoshiyuki
Open Eye Gallery
19 Mann Island
Liverpool Waterfront