A story_to_tell_#3 Andrei Liankevich


It's already two years in a row I am trying to organize a trip in Lithuania to attend a Midsummer celebration, called "Jonines".
Jonines is a pagan tradition, happening in many places in Europe, mainly Northern-Eastern countries but not only there. It's a way to welcome the Summer solstice (June 23rd, the brightest day in the year with the highest number of sunlight hours). It's made of dances, rituality, folks customes starting late in the day and lasting all night, the shortest night of the year.
Few days ago I went to Micamera, one of the (or probably "the most") important photography bookshop in Milan. When entering, just on the right, there was a small exhibition and, among of the pictures, I found Andrei Liankevich book called "Pagan". It's like when you have the feeling things do not happen by chance. It was there "waiting" for me. A strong B&W collection of the different pagan celebrations and traditions in Belarus. I really appreciate it not only for the emotional connection with the experience I am going to live shortly but also because I found interesting the editing, mixing beast fetish and powerful human portraits shot in grainy films. Nice way to mix out of focus people (who are they? is it all about us? will our identity be lost?) and a constant love for the Nature, our mother Earth, reminding me some visual Haiku of Rinko Kawauchi (pssss..have a look to a story to tell #1 on Rinko).
After having bought and reviewed several times the book, I wrote to Andrei. We exchanged mails and I discovered his works you can find here Andrei Liankevich is a Belarusian photographer, born 1981 in Grodno and based in Minsk (Belarus).
Andrei Liankevich has presented his photographic oeuvre in more than 60 exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the USA; e.g. collective exhibitions such as “She has female name” was presented at the Museum of Modern Art (Vienna, Austria) and at the Zachta Gallery in Warshaw (Poland), and he showed “Unknown Country” photo project as part of the Third Month of European Photography in Uferhallen, Berlin (Germany).
Going through his website I found particularly inspiring Goodbye, Motherland // 2011, more specifically the idea to combine pictures of War scenes with pieces of fabrics. Andrei gave me his own view of it:
"The idea how people after the horror of the war come back to "normal" life and create aesthetically beautiful crafts makes me think for a long time. The fact, that folk traditional crafts are made by people , who killed, who saw dead bodies or survived from hunger. How this two completely different sides of life comes together is the question without answer for me. If we'll try to tough "Memory" - the situation has the solution: man's memory blocks negative memoirs not to make us crazy, to continue "normal" life- this is how evolution instruments work. That is why i decided to combine Belarus traditional ornaments from the crafts made by people who have seen war (WWI or WWII) with USSR war archive photos."
Very inspiring!. Ready to start for my trip in Lithuania, full of new ideas and with a new "friend" of mine. Thank you Andrei!

A story to tell_#1 Rinko Kawauchi


First time I "met" Rinko Kawauchi it was one year ago, more or less, while visiting an exhibition in Carla Sozzani art gallery.
I have been fascinated by the tenderness of images and cover of the book Illuminance.
During that period (and also nowadays, by the way..) I was focusing on the heart of capturing simple things and getting rid of anything not "useful" to convey messages I was thinking about.
I realized afterwards that Rinko Kawauchi photography is all about "haiku".
"Haiku" is a kind of minimalist poetry, meditation done through simple sentences, telling the Nature and the day-by-day surrounding us.
Moving from poetry to Photography the concept does not change so much.
Rinko is able to transmit that sense of simplicity, joy for basic things, power of nature, birth, existence, spirit.

When I travelled in Tokyo, summer of 2018, I desperately tried to met her in person without succeeding. I think (I tried to convince myself...)she is not willing to spend time with strangers. She really want to focus on what really matters.
That's the picture I imagine of this Japanese photographer, shooting mostly in 6×6 format. It's easy to recognize her pictures: mastering natural light she is able to give back smooth portion of her world.

“It’s not enough that the photograph is beautiful. If it doesn’t move my heart, it wont move anyone else’s heart.”-Rinko Kawauchi
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