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Documentary Fuji - Chris Steele-Perkins exhibits with Ukiyo-e Master, Utagawa Hiroshige in Japan
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July 25, 2013
by Chris Steele-Perkins
Mount Fuji, a mountain that has since ancient times been treated as an object of worship, a famous mountain landscape and as artistic inspiration, has become known throughout the world and people have been attaching their various beliefs to it. Mount Fuji is also the most photographed mountain in the world and many Fuji have been created. This exhibition presents Ukiyo-e as a documentary of the Edo Period and features works from 2 series of the Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji made by the meisho (famous places) artist Utagawa Hiroshige in his late years, as well as 40 Views of Mt. Fuji by the Ukiyo-e enchanted English photographer Chris Steele-Perkins.
As if he was using camerawork techniques with modern composition, Hiroshige sometimes presented Mount Fuji as the main subject of his work, but in fact he was realistically portraying its existence through the Edo residents' lives. Perkins uses Mount Fuji as just a focal point in his works, but from them tries to present Japanese society. Through Ukiyo-e and photography – the media of their time – moments of everyday landscape are captured and preserved crossing time and countries. How has the role of Mount Fuji in the lives of the Japanese changed since the Edo Period to today? Without a doubt this change clearly reflects just how different modern-day Japan is since the Edo Period.
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