When travelling to Japan, I knew one thing only — I wanted to take pictures based on Japanese mythology; I wanted to photograph the Yokai — the monsters of legend. Photography came as the result of working in new surroundings; it was the end process of meeting people and building relationships — this is surely why so many of the pictures (and the intimate ones in particular) are of my friends or the people who trusted me — of humane people. The non-human world is more than a background or visual filler; it is of equal importance. I understood that what interested me most here was nature. Man is a part of it; of equal importance to a stone, a bush, or a cat. I should add that the word “nature” is none too precise; it is too easily reduced to patches of wilderness “unspoilt” by human hand. I call “nature” whatever is subject to biological, chemical, and physical processes — whatever exists, grows old, and decays. This series enquires about the whole — how unfulfilled we feel and how we seek a way out.
This was the origin of Subterranean River.
On his Japanese journey, Łukasz Rusznica chose spirits and other supernatural creatures as his guides. He asked them for help in mapping a new territory, and appears to have received an additional gift: a discovery about oneself and one's own background, which seems to be the actual journey here: a more significant one than conquering purely physical distance.
Publishers: Fundacja Sztuk Wizualnych, Palm Studios (2018)
Partner: Art. & Innovation Space Foundation
Photographs: Łukasz Rusznica
Text: Olga Drenda
Design: Grupa Projektor (Joanna Jopkiewicz)
Preparing images for print: Krzysztof Krzysztofiak
23,5 cm x 31 cm, 120 pages, hard cover
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