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What's this? Book review of Dewi Sukarno's photo book.

Dewi Sukarno - Madame-D Syuga
Photos: FUJII Hideki Price: US$90 via SAL PhotoReviews Help
Reviewed on: 1997.09.17
Last modified:
Nude photos of the former wife of the former president of Indonesia. A Japanese born and raised in Japan, Dewi Sukarno found herself married to the president of Indonesia before age 20 in 1962.
Published: Nov. 1993 More info
Publisher: Scholar Co. More info
ISBN: 4796201386 More info
Price in Japan: ¥4,800 (original price) More info
Qualities: Hard cover, color photos More info
Size: A4 oversize, pp. More info
Language: Japanese More info
Sample photos: Image 1 | 2 | 3 More info
Related reviews: None More info
Status: Available More info
Item Code: -- More info
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Madame-D Syuga

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Impressions: Hideki Fujii uses a lot of exquisite Japanese elements such as the kimono. His models are first class, and he poses them in very exotic and erotic ways without being sleazy. His make-up artist and stylist are also highly skilled. He is best known for nude and glamour photos. His photos can be very beautiful and striking.

This photo book is Dewi's first. She agreed to do it only when she found out that Fujii was going to be the photographer. She had seen some of his work before and was very impressed. But she did not know his name until she was shown his sample work. She liked his photos of women in kimono and the painted nude bodies.

Dewi was one of nine wives in the lifetime of Achmed Sukarno (1901-1970), the president of The Republic of Indonesia from 1945 to 1967. She married him in March 1962 and they had a daughter named Kartika. After the change of government, she lived in Paris, New York, and Tokyo.

Fujii gathered the best staff, wardrobe, and props he could find for the shooting which took place in Tokyo, Kyoto, Indonesia, and Paris over a three-month period. The first-class staff and materials are evident in the photos.

For her age, Dewi looks pretty good. In her youth though, she must have been a really stunning woman. A lot of Japanese elements are included in the photos: A Noh mask, kimonos, and traditional Japanese hairstyles. Then there is the fine body make-up (painting) by Teruko Kobayashi. She uses the body as her canvas to create colorful drawings on Dewi.

On location in Indonesia, Dewi is dressed in Indonesian costume surrounded by traditionally-dressed Indonesian children. About half the photos in the book are nude, and one or two photos with pubic hair. The nude photos have her wearing a kimono, in the bubble bath, or with Kobayashi's make-up art. The pictures have no captions. The settings and costumes reflect Dewi's multi-cultural background very well. The book comes with an insert containing signed messages (translated into Japanese) from her friends such as Alain Delon and Tadanori Yokoo.

When the book was published, it was scorned in Indonesia for "violating eastern norms and insulting Indonesia's dignity." The Attorney-General's office banned the book in Indonesia.

In 1998, an Indonesian magazine called "Indonesia What's On" published a few of the photos without permission. In March 2002, Dewi testified in Jakarta District Court against the magazine's publisher, Warsito Wahono, for violating property rights. She had found out about the publication from an Indonesian friend and filed a complaint with the police in Jakarta in Feb. 1999. Hopefully, she will win the case.


QUICK REVIEW PROFILE Quick Review Profile Help
What's Inside About the Artist Photo Evaluation
Genre: Nudes Domestic acclaim: 10 Artistic value: 9.5
Photo:Text ratio: 90:10 Dedication & effort: 10 Cultural value: 9
Understanding ease: 9 Vision & concept: 10 Historical value: 8
Overall impression: 9 Int'l acclaim: 9.5 Educational value: 8
*Rating Scale 1-10: 10-Outstanding, 9-Very good, 8-Good, 7-Average-Good, 6-Average, 5-Average-poor, 4-Poor, 3-Very poor, 2-Extremely poor, 1-No value, --Not applicable
Location/Setting: Indonesia and Japan, photo studio
Artist's Bio:

Dewi born early 1940s. Real name Naoko Nemoto. Frequent TV personality in Japan.

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