Description

In the late ‘90s Chris Steele-Perkins embarked on a three-year project on Mount Fuji, after his Japanese wife gave him a book by 19th-century master printmaker Katsushika Hokusai, “36 Views of Mount Fuji”. He was struck by the verisimilitude of the prints as historical documents of the life and beauty of the area. Steele-Perkins set out to record a 21st-century response through the eyes of a sympathetic gaijin (foreigner). “Fuji”, as seen by Steele-Perkins, emerges as a meditation about modern Japan and Japanese life. “The first view a foreigner usually gets of Fuji is on the bullet train out of Tokyo, when the mountain rises out of the surrounding industrial landscape. This is the unromantic reality, and yet in most photographic representations there is hardly any sign of human activity. I wanted to depict contemporary Japan in the shadow of Fuji as I really found it, and in so doing discover the country,” Steele-Perkins says.

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