Naoki Ishikawa "8848"
This event has ended.
This exhibition displays photographs taken by Ishikawa during his climb up Mount Everest, under conditions that demanded every last bit of his strength and concentration. They record scenes from the icefall, from which giant slabs of ice jut forth, the occasional crevasse, created from deep rifts in the ice, and steep slopes along the route to the summit of Mount Everest.
The collection includes bird's eye views of the world from its tallest peak at 8,848 meters above sea level - the broad expanse of the Himalayas embedded in a sea of clouds, the deepening blue of the sky as the artist approached the stratosphere, and the sunlight that makes itself felt more intensely at such high altitudes. These photographs provide a sense of how the artist sees the world – the awe felt only when facing the vastness of nature, the strength of the mountains which are at once beautiful and forbidding, Ishikawa's strong will to live, and yet, in the face of all that, his ability to maintain a certain distance from the subjects of his art and cool-headedly snap the shutter of his camera. This collection of photos, taken at locations that pushed the artist to the very limit of his mind and body, constitutes much more than mere photographs recording a journey: they convey an irresistible presence.
In addition to photos of the climb to the summit, the exhibition also displays photographs of the Everest Highway and the villages of the mountain-dwelling Sherpa people that were frequently visited by Ishikawa over the previous three years for the purpose of surveying the area and adapting to the high elevation in preparation for the climb. People live quiet, hardy lives there at the foot of Mount Everest, one of the most remote places from the sphere of human habitation, raising yaks, plowing fields, and occasionally carrying their own weight in loads on their backs as they provide support for climbers of Mount Everest.
In addition to very likely being the last set of photographs of Everest taken with film cameras in an age now dominated by digital technology--making it a precious record marking the end of an age - this collection of photographs also constitutes a 21st-century journal of an Everest expedition so detailed as to be almost painful in its realism.
Even in the midst of the current historic boom in mountain climbing, most people never get even close to Mount Everest. This world of extraordinary photographs, however, provides the viewer with a concrete sense of this lofty mountain far removed from the lives of ordinary people, its presence of overwhelming magnitude, a world in the clouds beyond imagination.
From 2011-09-09 To 2011-10-22
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