Tsumari Story

Tsumari Story


Publisher: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

Slight damage to slipcase

On the occasion of their being invited to partake in the 2012 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Chinese-Japanese artist couple RongRong and inre moved to the Tsumari region in Niigata, Japan, after having lived in Beijing for 12 years. The area, relatively untouched by the progress of human civilisation, is one of the colder places in Japan, where snowfalls of three to four meters regularly force life to slow down during the long winter season.

Together with their three sons, they spent their time in Tsumari living in several conventional wooden houses, and as they began to shed modern conveniences, such as Western fashion, in favour of a traditional lifestyle, their aesthetic sensibilities too embraced the past. The photograph artists began to document their family and its relation to nature, evoking - partly by intention, partly unconsciously - classical representations of man’s struggle with, and worship of, nature and its forces, in European and Japanese art of the past centuries.
The resulting photos are a peculiar blend of documentation and artifice.

“‘Tsumari’ is the old name of the Tokamachi district of Niigata Prefecture. Surrounded on all four sides by mountains, the name is said to be derived from the Japanese expression, todo no tsumari, which means “to come to the end” but although similar phonetically, the Chinese characters used to write it mean “there is a wife”, conjuring romantic connotations in our imaginations. RongRong & inri’s Tsumari Story is a work of great imagination that was clearly inspired by this name. It features the first encounter of a man and a woman, following them as they form a family, creating a story that is both true and fiction, set against the background of a traditional Japanese house, standing in a snow-filled landscape of beautiful terraced rice fields, hot springs, etc.”

-excerpt from “Tsumari Story/Gelatin-Silver Story” by Tokihiro Sato

Keywords: Staged


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Book Size
355 x 257 mm
80 pages, 54 images
Hardcover, slipcase
Publication Date
Chinese, Japanese
Limited Edition

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