Akira Uchiyama. The Radiance of Life
31 August 2018 — 26 November 2018
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Erarta Museum presents an exhibition by the Japanese fine-art photographer Akira Uchiyama

  • The many years of swans' repeated journeys from Russia to Japan
  • A handpicked selection from the total of 450,000 shots
  • Photographs full of sensuality, irregular time signatures and complex rhythms

For the Japanese fine-art photographer Akira Uchiyama, there is no country like Russia when it comes to swans. Each year, he watches groups of these noble birds fly to Japan from Siberia, develop their body strength, and make their return trip to Russia every six months. 

For a number of years, watching the swans pass the winter at the pond in Oike forest park in the town of Murakami, the photographer took their pictures, cherishing a dream to exhibit his works in Russia some day. Over 5 years he took more than 450,000 photographs. 

In order to further advance the artistry of his photography, Akira Uchiyama broke with traditional common sense and developed completely new photographic methods, and in so doing he was successful in perfecting the expressiveness of his works. Akira Uchiyama’s photographs display the same sensuality, irregular time signatures and complex rhythms, effortless phrasing, long passages with many repetitive sounds, and fluctuating intervals that one would expect if the swans were performing a kind of an opera. 

The photographer uses the special “Fresco Giclee” paper which is made by applying a plaster made according to traditional Japanese techniques. The resulting prints have a high-class quality on par with oil on canvas paintings and an excellent finish that does not cause any colour change from any angle. 

The artist would like to think that his favourite Russian composers Borodin and Tchaikovsky would be pleased with the deep symbolism of swans going back and forth between Russia and Japan through the medium of photographic technology. More than anything else, Akira Uchiyama hopes that his works will be well received by the St. Petersburg public, given the special significance of this exhibition held in the cultural capital of Russia.

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