Fiona Tan “Ascent”

Izu Photo Museum

poster for Fiona Tan “Ascent”
[Image: Fiona Tan "Ascent" (2016) Photo: mitsuru AsakurA]

This event has ended.

Commissioned on the occasion of this exhibition, Tan has created “Ascent” through a montage of over 4000 found still images of Mt. Fuji from all eras. Images were contributed by the public and were also selected from Izu Photo Museum’s own collection. “Ascent” is at once a rumination on this singular mountain and its ongoing relationship with human beings, a study of visual culture and a tribute to both photographic and film history. The resulting work considers the intertwinement of visibility and invisibility, distance and proximity. As Tan herself says: “These thousands of images encircle the mountain like a cloud – revealing it and hiding it at the same time.” Fictional narrative combines with documentary images, expanding the boundaries that divide stillness from movement, and pinpointing a unique area where photography and film meet and connect. Echoing the climb to the mountain’s peak, the narrative zigzags across narratives and histories, from ukiyo-e to the Second World War, from Western imperialism to contemporary tourism, from the dawn of photography to the present day.
“Ascent” unfolds as a contemplative visual essay, reflecting upon the capacities of contemporary digital visual media while referencing iconic films such as Chris Marker’s La Jetée.


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from July 18, 2016 to October 18, 2016


Fiona Tan



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10 Things in Tokyo: August 2016

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