Yoshiyuki Okuyama is one of the leading creatives in Japan today. Since his start in 2010 he has published and exhibited extensively as a photographer, winning the Kodansha Publishing Culture Award in Photography and the Canon New Cosmos of Photography Excellence Award; in recent years he has also been active as a director of many acclaimed music videos and television commercials.
This collection is the first to focus on the commissioned works that Okuyama has undertaken aside from his self-initiated projects in the twelve years of his career so far. The volume covers more than 400 photographs spread out over a hefty 500-plus pages, all picked by Okuyama himself. The astounding quantity and quality of those selections speak to his singular impact on and stature within the Japanese creative scene—included are collaborations with music artists Kenshi Yonezu, Gen Hoshino, Mr. Children, Radwimps, Aimyon, Masaharu Fukuyama, and Sakanaction; promotional images for Pocari Sweat, JR Skiski, NTT Docomo, and the Awaiting Kirin historical drama by NHK; projects with the magazines Vogue US, Ginza, Switch, and Hanatsubaki; and portraits of celebrity icons Suzu Hirose, Masaki Suda, Yurina Hirate, Nana Komatsu, and Tsubasa Honda.
Crystallized out of a process of engaging sincerely with his clients and subjects, building careful relationships with them, thinking his ideas through to the utmost, and testing and reviewing his plans time and again, the works—though commissions—clearly stand apart from mere advertising or commercialism, instead exuding the power and individuality of creative photographic expression. Diverse in color and texture, they teem with variety, energy, and artless passion, like a jumble of toys in a nursery; from images making calculated use of experimental techniques like multiple exposure, emulsion lift, slow sync, collage, copying, and solarization to spontaneous shots capturing definitive moments, their styles transcend conventional genres and metamorphose from work to work with a virtuosity possible only from a photographer who devotes himself to every shoot with the intensity that he does.
What is it that makes Okuyama’s wide-reaching and influential output so pervadingly “Okuyama”? Turn the pages for an awesome visual experience of his inimitable, playful world.
The title, Best Before, is deliberately tongue-in-cheek: it’s a paradoxical declaration that the appeal of these works, indeed, has no expiration date.
On sale February 7, 2022
Reserve by January 31, 2022, to receive a special autographed copy
Yoshiyuki Okuyama was born in 1991 in Tokyo. He received the Kodansha Publishing Culture Award in Photography in 2011 and the Canon New Cosmos of Photography Excellence Award in 2016. Published photo collections include flowers (Akaaka Art Publishing), As the Call, So the Echo (Akaaka Art Publishing), Pocari Sweat (Seigensha), Bacon Ice Cream (Parco Publishing; Taiwanese edition, Uni-Books), Girl (Plancton), Kimi no sumu machi (The Town You Live In; Space Shower Books), Los Angeles / San Francisco (Union Publishing), The Good Side (Editions Bessard), and Ton! Tan! Pan! Don! (bookshop M); major exhibitions in Tokyo, As the Call, So the Echo (Gallery916), Bacon Ice Cream (Parco Museum), Kimi no sumu machi (Omotesando Hills Space O), White Light (Canon Gallery S), flowers (Parco Museum Tokyo), and The New Story (Post). In recent years he has focused on filmmaking.