Fuji as seen by Chris Steele-Perkins emerges as a meditation about modern Japan and Japanese life. The exquisite images offer a fresh and surprising view of Japan's iconic mountain and an understanding of Japanese worldview as seen by an outsider who has penetrated its diversity with astounding clarity, metaphysical insight, and profound complicity.
The impetus for this three-year project began when Chris Steele-Perkins was offered a gift from his Japanese wife of the nineteenth-century master printmaker Katsushika Hokusai's famous book, 36 Views of Mount Fuji. Struck by the verisimilitude of the prints as historical documents of the life of the peoples around the mountain --woodcutters, fishermen, peasants, and aristocrats--as well as their beauty and spiritual aspect, Steele-Perkins began to research further. He found that most Japanese photographers preferred classic images of the sacred mountain where the elegiac perfection of the peak was the punctum of the work, in opposition to the approach of Hokusai. Steele-Perkins then set out to record a twenty-first century response through the eyes of a sympathetic gaijin. The ensuing work depicts Fuji as a cultural nexus: a dynamic social phenomenon where tourism, farming, industry, religion, urbanization, locomotion, housing and recreation, traditional ceremony and religion all are framed by the potent national symbol of the mountain. Fuji as seen by Steele-Perkins emerges as a meditation about modern Japan, and Japanese life. The exquisite images offer a fresh and surprising view of Japan's iconic mountain, and a keyhole of understanding into Japanese worldview as seen by an outsider who has penetrated its diversity with astonishing clarity, metaphysical insight, and profound complicity.A dazzling and idiosyncratic collection of,photographs of contemporary Japan, celebrating,extremes of beauty, the handprint of,techno-culture and the irony of documentary, by,noted British photographer Chris Steele-Perkinsmember of Magnum and winner of numerous awards,including the Tom Hopkinson Prize for British,Photojournalism and a 2000 World Press Award. A,meditation on modern Japan and Japanese lifethese exquisite images offer a fresh and,surprising view of the wealth of culture,flourishing below Japan's iconic mountain.
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