In 1961, William Klein was invited to Tokyo, where his photographic book New York (1956) had already become a cult classic for its graphic boldness and high-energy style mixing documentation and personal diary. Over the course of three months, in more than 1,000 photographs, Klein captured the congestion, chaos, and strange coexistence of traditional and contemporary culture that characterized Tokyo at the dawn of the turbulent 1960s. His off-kilter, out-of-focus, grainy images served as a bridge between American street photography and postwar Japanese camera work, giving license to a new generation of Japanese photographers, like Daidō Moriyama. Here, Klein captured the boxing-painting performance by Ushio Shinohara, in which the artist dipped boxing gloves in sumi ink and punched paper in order to splatter it with pigment, with the artist Masanobu Yoshimura, both members of the art collective called Neo Dada Organizers.

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William Klein, French, born United States, 1928
Fighter Painter, Shinohara, Tokyo
1961, printed 1982
Gelatin silver print
Image: 13 11/16 × 9 5/8 in. (34.8 × 24.4 cm) Sheet: 15 3/4 × 11 3/4 in. (40 × 29.8 cm)
Credit Line

The Allan Chasanoff Photographic Collection

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

Allan Chasanoff, New York; given to MFAH, 1991.