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Art Photobook Reviews

Complete Works by Kou Inose

A uniquely unsettling publication.

As it’s title suggests, when released in 2015 this volume contained the photographer’s entire output.

Known for his intense working methods (each image can take up to one month to produce) Kou Inose’s portfolio takes us into dark and disturbing territory.

The book features work based on the surrealist Japanese novel Dogra Magra by Yumeno Kyūsaku (Sugiyama Yasumich) in which a young man wakes to find himself in a nightmarish asylum.

Pictures including hellish looking treatments, dissected and decomposing bodies are interwoven with eerie landscapes, shadowy buildings and scariest picture of a spider that you are ever likely to encounter.

In my “favourites “ list for 2015, I compared him to the American photographer Joel Peter Witkin, and whilst their respective styles and inspirations may be completely different, the flesh crawling, dry mouthed reaction combined with the marvel and cautious admiration for both artists’ technical mastery feels very familiar.

Not for everyone, but to my mind an amazing and hypnotic body of work.


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