Photographer Mayumi Hosokura Captures the Ecstasy and Reverie of Youth

The Japanese photographer captures the unguarded intimacy of her young subjects, who appear languid and at ease in her experimental images, in which the physicality of the photographic process itself is peeled apart and unpicked.

To take a portrait of another person is an intimate act. The subjects who appear in the photographs of young Japanese photographer Mayumi Hosokura are captured unguarded, languid and at ease. Nudes mingle with motifs taken from the natural world, at once timeless and intensely present. Caught in the moment, bare bodies twist and turn. Eyes closed, they hover between ecstasy and reverie. The ambiguous eroticism of these images comes to the surface slowly, revealing itself through multiple layers.

The fluidity of the image is made tangible, as the physicality of the photographic process itself is peeled apart. Monochromatic images are printed on coloured paper, while off-cuts and the torn edges of snapshots are also shown. Brought together in a collaged series named Cyalium, the title combines two words:—“cyalume”—a substance that emits light through a chemical reaction—and ‘lium”—the suffix often used for metal elements. Hosokura’s invented term alludes to the darkroom process, equating it to the elusive emotional states of youthful uncertainty and the transformative process of growing up.