Dance Happening, Tokyo 1961

William KLEIN

1/11 - 2/26/2017
Gallery hours:11:00-19:00
Closed on Monday,Tuesday

Akio Nagasawa Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of William Klein’s exhibition “Dance Happening, Tokyo 1961”.

This Tokyo show is part of the travelling exhibition ”Kazuo Ohno By Eikoh Hosoe and William Klein” of works by the two photographers, which was originally put together by Akio Nagasawa for last year’s Rencontres d'Arles international photography festival in France.

The works shown in this exhibition are photographs taken in 1961, when Klein was in Japan for shootings that eventually resulted in his photo book Tokyo. Products of a collaboration between Klein and Hosoe, the pictures on display here showcase the two photographers’ keen observations of the city of Tokyo during the initial years of recovery and growth after the war, and at the same time, of the bodies of three eccentric Butoh dancers and their experimentation with a new form of dance.

The three Butoh dancers are Kazuo Ohno, Tatsumi Hijikata and Yoshito Ohno, whose “actions” in the streets can be considered as a prototype of the physical art that would later be called “happening” or “performance”. These photographs serve as valuable documents of early Butoh that was pioneering also in international terms. While some of the works shown in this exhibition were also included in the book Tokyo, most of the photographs have been lying dormant in Klein’s studio without ever being published. The “actions” that resurface now, 56 years after the event, still have the same striking visual impact that they had on William Klein when he first encountered the three dancers in Tokyo


William KLEIN


Born 1928 in New York. His career as a fashion photographer began in 1955, followed in 1956 by the publication of New York. Breaking taboos in photography, he introduced a new style of audaciously blurry and out-of-focus pictures that went on to influence numerous photographers up to the present day. After New York, the series continued with Roma (‘59), Moscow (’64), and Tokyo (’64). In addition to working as a photographer, he also produced the fashion-related movie Qui etes-vous Polly Maggoo? A solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1995 established his reputation, which he had mainly earned in Europe, also back home in America. In Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography showed the “Paris+Klein” exhibition in 2004, and in 2005, the “William Klein Retrospective” exhibition was held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The exhibition “William Klein + Daido Moriyama” with Daido Moriyama at London’s Tate Modern in 2012-13 created a buzz not only in the realm of photography, but in the fashion and film worlds alike.


TOKYO 1961 (Special Edition) B

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A special edition of the book TOKYO 1961 with one original print in a special case.
Signed and numbered on verso of the print and the book.
The original print can be chosen from ten different images.

TOKYO 1961 (New Edition)

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The last book in William Klein's series themed around cities following New York (1956), Rome (1956) and Moscow (1961). The book was reissued in a new edition in 2014, 50 years after the first edition was published. The cover is designed by Klein himself, while the original edition is preserved. The camerawork is superb, capturing the whole picture of Tokyo in 1961, a time of rapid economic growth and the hustle and bustle of the city three years before the Tokyo Olympics.

TOKYO 1961 (Booklet Edition)

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Oversize softcover booklet featuring a small selection of plates from William Klein's Tokyo 1961 (New Edition). A well printed teaser for the much larger full book.