Katsuji FUKUDA

Katsuji FUKUDA

Fukuda Katsuku was born January 11, 1899. Except for a few years after the Great Kanto Earthquake when he was trying to establish his career in places such as Nakanoseki, Sakai, Hiroshima and Osaka, Fukuda spent his long life working in Tokyo. After returning to Tokyo for good in 1933, Fukuda had a successful career in advertising photography, specializing in still lifes and nudes with modernist influences, as well as authoring practical books on photography. A series of photographs in Asahi Camera in 1936 featuring portraits of Setsuko Hara and Takako Irie were very popular and led to his first photobooks of women. After the war Fukuda was one of the first prominent photographers to experiment with color and continued to publish collections of nude studies and books on technique. However his emphasis on the aesthetics of beauty made his work seem old-fashioned during the postwar wave of realism led by Ken Domon and the trends that followed. In 1974 he was not among the 100 living photographers profiled by Camera Mainichi. However, in 1979 his contribution to the famed Sonorama Shashin Sensho, “Psalm” led to reassessments of his contributions. In the afterword of Psalm, Akira Hasegawa pointed out that “…there are no photographers of women in Japan even today who have not been influenced by Fukuda in one way or another. Many techniques commonly used today were developed by Fukuda, a fact which has been forgotten.” Fukuda continued working in his old age, long enough to see the increasing estimations of his work that has continued to this day. Now he is often anthologized in collections of Modernist and mid-century works. A major exhibition of his work was held in the Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art in 1994. Works by Fukuda are also in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Yokohama Museum of Art.



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