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Kai Keijiro: Clothed in Sunny Finery

Tokyo, Japan


A thousand men colliding, their eyes are dilating, the sweat dripping, the adrenaline pumping. Their naked bodies shifting in-between spaces where shadows were only obstructed by an abrasive and flashing light. No matter what the body collides with, it will always be impossible to be in two places at once. The slow moving images stripped bare of any noise aside from our own breath. Even still, their bodies colliding and clashing, their grunting, their moaning turns everything into a song.

The sound of two human bodies colliding in a fight can be frightening. Imagine hearing the sound of a thousands bodies clashing. Being pressed uncomfortably against a writhing mass of sweaty, slimy skin reeking of body odor is terrifying. Clothed in Sunny Finery by Kai Keijiro is a manifestation of a collective roar of men. A song and dance of thousands bare bodies clashing and yet also harmonizing. The biceps bulge and oil, sweat, and blood squirming around the practitioners bodies, making their veins bloat and their senses razor-sharp.

It is impossible to be in two places at once. Unless one place with the body, and the other with the mind. The sight of sweat, the sound of slippery flesh rubbing against each other, they all swing like velvet curtains bathed in sunlight. These photographs are a concoction of vulnerability, sensitivity, yet still masculinity, liberation, ambiguous and untamable skins. The viewer is focused on their own affect, while navigating in a secretly connected network of pure humans overcome their own fear. The naked mens bodies is a manifestation of being human: to be naked, to be yourself and not anything or anything else.

Kai Keijiro (b. 1974 Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan) graduated from Tokyo College of Photography in 2002, where he currently teaches. His works take the viewer into the crowds of traditional fighting or sporting rituals all around the world that predate our modern concept of sport. By taking a close-up look at human interaction in these traditional settings, Kai’s photographs offer us an insight into the very essence of human life.

Edited by Nikolaj Ahlefeldt