The Kyoto terms for ‘geisha’ are ‘geiko’ for the fully trained artists and ‘maiko’ for those still in training. Geisha is the term used in other parts of Japan.
Robert van Koesveld – Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto
“Late one night in an empty cobblestoned street in Kyoto, a woman sheltering beneath a red umbrella glided past me. I saw in an instant something in her face – luminous eyes, an aloof expression – that gave her beauty a sense of timelessness and exquisite grace. What I experienced as presence. This moment took place on my first visit to the city that had been Japan’s capital for over a thousand years. And it was this image of an unknown woman in an empty street that impelled me to begin this book three years ago.”
Mara Sánchez-Renero’s series ‘iluikak’ (in the sky) – a work in progress in “an attempt to breach the conventions of an assumed identity and explore a new state of consciousness.
I am interested in finding places that allow me to create settings in which I can explore the instability of the human condition. In isolating men and women from their everyday contexts and instead portraying them within the space of their imaginary fabrication, the space of their mythical existence, we can witness the dissolution of constructed identity and thus confront what’s uncertain about human nature.”
Mara Sánchez-Renero – iluikak
“The Nahua people of the Sierra of Zongolica in Veracruz, Mexico, are an indigenous community primarily dedicated to agriculture and the practice of religious customs, in which ancestral traditions that keep them connected to nature remain an important part of their particular identity. My intention is to photograph the sierra and its inhabitants, using different light sources to create a point of clarity and focus within an uncertain environment. I work with light to trace and depict a certain symbology in a search for evocations of the human.”
Irene Kung’s series ‘Trees’ – a poetic invitation to explore the metaphysical side of nature in searching of the essence of being.
Irene Kung – Trees
Part of the project ‘The forest of the soul’, in this series the artist focused on trees enchanted by their symbolic meaning as a circle of life, time and re-birth, and undoubtedly fascinated by their shape and beauty. She leads us into a mysterious, magical and almost unreal forest inhabited by different trees as a silent guardian of all our feelings, emotions and dreams.
“In my way of working I am able to return the tree to what I have felt. This is the way I perceive my work: to strip away what is not essential in order to show a tree as it really is, as I feel it. This is intuition; it is the irrational. What is rational may deceive us. Feelings don’t.”
Luca Tombolini’s series ‘LS X’ – a contemplation of pastel primordial landscapes of mountains and deserts in search of the mind shift that goes beyond our limited lifetime.
Luca Tombolini – LS X
“The values of our civilization, that we all take for granted and into which we so deeply live, have little to say if confronted with the general principle of Life we’re born from. All knowledge and crafts we’ve put together so far have absolutely no answers about how and eventually why this living experience has generated, nor can say a thing about what the place we’re living into really is.”
Jessica Backhaus’s series ‘Once, Still and Forever’ – with form, light and color on an intuitive quest for traces of the phenomenon of time. These vibrant still lifes deal with the artist’s personal past and the present as a new start. They reflect her inner world and different feelings in lifetime experience. It’s not a chronology, nor a documentary project, but a contemplation of emotions and existence.
“A quiet melancholy that tells us that we cannot change the tides. In other words: that we should follow them instead.” Jean-Christophe Ammann
Jessica Backhaus – Once, still and forever
“My photographs are like a mosaic, a puzzle that evokes the beauty of ordinary moments often ignored as well as the residue of loves past and memories forgotten… I believe that everything takes time. That’s the beauty of it … Sometimes you have to go away in order to come back.”
Ramón Masats is indispensable figure of the Catalan and Spanish photography.
Born in Catalonia in 1931, he moved to Madrid in his 20s and began his career in the 50s documenting reality creating unique photographic reports shooting primarily in black and white. After working for different magazines, in 1965 Masats abandoned photography and devoted himself to cinema and making documentaries. In 1981 he returned to photography following to an offer for books from Lunwerg publishing house but this time dedicating himself almost exclusively to colour.
Ramón Masats has published numerous books and in this video he shares his life path experience and artistic thoughts.
Flore’s series ‘Lointains souvenirs’ – a slow long-distance journey to Indochina in the company of her grandmother and the French writer and experimental filmmaker Marguerite Duras, who both lived there once at the same time and locations.
Flore – Lointains souvenirs
It is neither a documentary of her family history nor an interpretation of the mythologies of the author. This is an intimate adventure to capture the echoes of two women’s voices and along with her own to compose a new delicate story woven from threads of melancholy tones, timeless memories and nostalgic poetry.
Guided by Marguerite Duras’s knowledge of the places in her works, Flore walked along the banks of Mekong River, the rice paddies of southern Cochin China, entered colonial houses, to find the atmosphere evoked by the imaginary she had created about these past times while visiting her grandmother’s house. This is not a simple tale about ordinary harmony and beauty, but through a kind of haze and blurred horizon, the artist immersed us into a fascinating world with enigmatic landscapes, mysterious roads and dreamlike buildings.
Andrea Stone’s series ‘City Reflections’ – “imagery of colors, shapes and patterns, represents the way we place discordant pieces of our lives in proximity to each other, deconstruct the whole of an experience, embellish, elaborate and abstract the simple, plain and ordinary truth that is life.”
Andrea Stone – City Reflections
“We can try to look directly at the world and never truly see it. Reality, without intention, is inevitably distorted through the lens of our personal histories. It is like light on a window, deforming the objects it is reflecting. Although never fully objectively real, there are elements of reality most of us could agree on and that is why fragments of objects (a fluorescent light shining in a window, a car parked on a rooftop garage, or a rivet driven into steel) remain in these images as illustrations of how we see what’s in front of us.”
RongRong & inri’s ‘Tsumari Story’ – a tale about a man, a woman and their three children capturing their experiences and emotional journey in a unique and rural area as a response to primeval concepts of ‘the circle of life’ and ‘humanity as part of nature’.
The series was produced in Niigata Prefecture, one of Japan’s snowiest regions, between 2012 and 2014, following to an invitation by the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial. Because its transport network was comparatively late to upgrade, it has somewhat escaped the effects of the globalization. There, time flows according to its own rhythm and the lifestyles of those who still inhabit the villages haven’t changed for centuries.
RongRong & inri – Tsumari Story
“Our original intention for this series was to reflect a worldview based on the image created by the origin of the name of this area, “Tsumari” and its local legends. We wandered through the snow-covered maze with no clear objective, imagining a story of a man and woman who are seized by extreme emotions while living within Tsumari’s harsh natural environment.”
In her series ‘Dare alla Luce’, Amy Friend is a fairy, who by piercing holes with a magic wand allowed spots of light to pass through vintage photographs, bursting into stardust and playing like fireflies, “to bring them to light”, as a moment of re-birth of the lost souls and their stories.
Amy Friend – Dare alla Luce
“I am not specifically concerned with capturing a “concrete” reality in my photographs… Through hand-manipulated interventions I alter and subsequently re-photograph the images “re-making” photographs that oscillate between what is present and absent. I aim to comment on the fragile quality of the photographic object but also on the fragility of our lives, our history. All are lost so easily. By employing the tools of photography, I “re-use” light, allowing it to shine through the holes. In a playful and yet, literal manner, I return the subjects of the photographs back to the light, while simultaneously bringing them forward. I play with the light and use it metaphorically allowing for new readings, sometimes through heavy-handed applications and at other times delicately. The images are permanently altered; they are lost and reborn…”