Little Big Man books is proud to announce the release of Kagero by Moriyama Daido, a strictly limited case bound edition of 18 hand etched copper plate photogravure prints, signed and numbered by the artist. The edition was created in collaboration with Smith Andersen North.
Kagero, meaning ‘mayfly’ came about as a result of a collaboration with Dan Oniroku, author of numerous works of S/M fiction, and whose books were often adapted into softcore pink films produced by Nikkatsu studios, (Japan’s oldest film studio). Kagero can be viewed as an extension of Provoke #2: Eros, an early landmark publication in Moriyama’s storied career. Kagero remains Moriyama’s sole commission to produce a series of erotica—work intended for consumption by a discrete and private audience. The images themselves consist of pictures of several nude women in states of bondage, set within natural landscapes.
While at a glance the work recalls the bondage photography of Nobuyoshi Araki, here runs perhaps a more sinister vein. This is not without reason, as Moriyama intended his pictures to represent the sadism of masculinity—clearly seen in scenes where male assistants tie their models in traditional Japanese bondage rope—and the inferiority complexes that often accompany such demands of domination. Here, Moriyama draws parallels between madness, libido, and ultimately, death. With these considerations in mind, the images have much in common with Hans Bellmer’s sculpture and drawings, and also sounds a resounding resonance with Marcel Duchamp’s final work, Étant Donnés.
The parallel between nature and death remains constant, and it is without coincidence that the mayfly has often been used historically as a symbol of the ephemeral nature of life due to the insect’s extremely short lifespan. In this connection with both the pastoral and decay, Kagero bears some similarity to Sally Mann’s What Remains, an unsentimental observation of violence, death, and nature’s reclamation of the former.