Ukiyo-e - BooksOnLine, 2013 // Edizioni PulcinoElefante, 2014
Ukiyo-e (浮世絵 literary "images of the floating world") refers to a Japanese mass production art print technique on wooden blocks, born in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka in the 17th century, before "the age of mechanical reproduction". The "floating world" is the representation of the new Japan: the word is also an ironic allusion the homophone religious term (憂き世), "the suffering world" of Buddhism and tradition. Ukiyo-e was influenced by the Western culture and in turn inspired the European Impressionism. These photographs, as visual haikus from a trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka in 2012, purely portrays the Western perception of Japanese culture and viceversa, at the intersection of nature and culture, tradition and industrialization, representation and imagination.

"I was taking a picture without knowing that in the 15th century Basho had written: 'The willow sees the heron's image... upside down.' The commercial becomes a kind of haiku to the eye, used to Western atrocities in this field; not understanding obviously adds to the pleasure. For one slightly hallucinatory moment I had the impression that I spoke Japanese, but it was a cultural program on NHK about Gérard de Nerval." - Chris Marker

 installation for Premio Prina, Triennale Di Milano

Via C. Gluck 48
Milano 20125 IT

© 2020 Luca Massaro
All Rights Reserved