SOMETIMES THE BORDER IS THIN by Łukasz Rusznica
I done all photos in Japan, but it is not a story about this country. Although I have used its traditions and religion. And the fact, that for me, it was a completely unknown territory. The main motive is the Shinto, japan mythology (yokai) and way of thinking about the sacred. But Shinto is another cover, artificial dictionary which allowed me to understand what I say. It is in the Japanese relationship to nature, something to give me hope, the conviction that we are part of nature, that we not strayed too far.
Even if at the same time we try to control it on physical and symbolic level. In my fantasy about Japan, there hope to experience sacred, that does not preclude the body and biology.
Yokai (monsters) are still a live part of Japanese culture, existing not only in stories and old texts, but also in contemporary literature and pop culture, but I wasn’t that interested in monsters – I focused on people much more. A monster is a mask with which people felt safer and at the same time more shameless. Because of the mask a dialogue, a trip to the forest and river, photographs were all possible.
In the complex Japanes cosmology where a stone or trees standing next to temples are kami (deity), spirituality is rooted in physicality, practice and experience. In both aspects (working with a model and unearthly experience of the world and spirituality) yokai and nature let me fulfill my need of contact with someone/something alien. To fill a void.
Although I am aware that I can only lie, lie turns into fiction, and this is the only truth what we have and it’s really a lot.
Łukasz Rusznica is a photographer, curator and educator based in Wrocław, Poland. Since graduating from Cultural Studies of the University of Wrocław, his works have been exhibited in galleries and museums in Poland and abroad. He is an author of photobooks “Smog”, “Near, Infra”, “Toskana”, “European Eyes on Japan vol. 18” and designed by Thomas Schostock – The Most Important I Do Not Tell You At All . His works have been published in magazines like SZUM, BIURO, LaVie, Machina, POST and Bad to the Bone. He is a winner of ShowOFF section of the Krakow Photomonth Festival in 2012 and WARTO 2015 Award. In 2016 he was selected to take part in European Eyes on Japan – a unique project inviting photographers from European Capitals of Culture to portray everyday life of Japan. Currently, he runs a photography gallery Miejsce przy Miejscu dedicated to promoting emerging photographers from Poland and abroad.