This project is British artist/ photographer Charles Emerson’s response to Mount Fuji, inspired by the work of Ukiyo-e artists Hiroshige and Hokusai.
The exhibitions present six large scale photographs. Four of the final pieces focus individually on the four faces of Mt. Fuji. These four works, North, South, East and West were each photographed with a large format film camera with multiple exposures of other details and elements from Charles’ trip to Japan such as; city lights, cherry blossom, Fuji-Q pleasure park, concrete sea defences, mouth of a cave, cigarette vending machine, Aokigahara forest, convenience store lights, lanterns at a Sengen shrine.
The two remaining works were designed to reflect on the idea of the ‘journey’. Fuji – North, South, East, West. was created by shooting the four individual faces of Mt. Fuji, which were then layered in to a composite image, a complete portrait of Mt. Fuji. The act of journeying around Mt. Fuji multiple times was in itself an important part of the making of the work. The artists own personal pilgrimage and homage to the deity Fuji.
The final work in the show sees Mt. Fuji from one view point photographed over the course of one day with the images layered upon one another, creating an ethereal, impressionist image. Impressionist painters are a strong inspiration for much of Charles’s work; in this particular piece he wanted to make that apparent. The relationship and cross-pollination between Western and Eastern art worlds, namely the influence Ukiyo-e had on Impressionism, resonated with Charles’s own practice. This piece updates, to modern times, the Ukiyo-e viewpoint of the everyday social scene, the comings-and-goings of a globally ubiquitous car park at the base of Mt. Fuji. This piece is about the happenings of one specific day yet simultaneously about the timeless quality of Mt. Fuji, who itself appears in the same form as in the Ukiyo-e masterpieces.
This project leads on from Charles’ earlier project Myth and Mountains where he photographed different mountains with mythological connections in Romania, Scotland, Jordan and Wales.
Charles worked with Producer Jack Gibbon at Antlers Gallery on the realisation of this Fuji project including two trips to Japan, initially to make the works and research Hiroshige at the museum then returning to show them at the Shizuoka City Hiroshige Tokaido Museum of Art.
Commissioned in collaboration with Shizuoka City Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art, Japan and ICN, London.
Exhibition 1: 22 Nov 2016 – 29 Jan 2017 Shizuoka City Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art, Japan (Artist Talk 23 November 2016)
Exhibition 2: 11 – 29 January 2017, White Conduit Projects, Islington, London. (Artist Talk 24 January)
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+++ Fuji exhibition is currently available to hire as a touring exhibition. Download prospectus (top right) for more information.