Nan Goldin, Honda Brothers in Cherry Blossom Storm, Tokyo, 1994. Silver dye bleach print (Ilfochrome), 19 1/2 × 19 1/2 inches (49.5 × 49.5 cm). Gift of Lillian and Hyman Goldin. Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery. © Nan Goldin
For over forty years, Nan Goldin has created a visual diary of her closest friends and relatives, documenting the remarkable and at times difficult moments in everyday life. Lovers embrace, performers and drag queens wait backstage, and family members meet at death beds in Goldin’s corpus of work.
For an artist who became known for raw scenes of her and her friends’ lives, Honda Brothers in Cherry Blossom Storm, Tokyo, 1994, is perhaps a slight departure and surprisingly joyful. The artist spent time working in Japan in 1994 working on her renowned Tokyo Love series, in which she photographed the underground scenes of Tokyo. This particular photograph captures a moment of delight, as the two boys stand amidst a shower of swirling cherry blossoms. The photograph captures the blossoming of the cherry trees in springtime in Tokyo, a fleeting instance and the resulting joy.
The ICA/Boston was the first museum to organize a solo exhibition of Nan Goldin’s work. The artist expressed her desire to have a selection of photographs from her parents’ collection come into the museum’s permanent collection. Honda Brothers in Cherry Blossom Storm, Tokyo is part of the generous gift of Lillian and Hyman Goldin, adding the museum’s already important collection of photographs by Nan Goldin, including other images from her travels in Japan, such as Noa Dressing for the Venus Show at Shogun Club, Tokyo; Takaho After Kissing, Tokyo; and Tomoyuki in Front of T.V., Tokyo (all 1994).