FUJISAN/ LIULITUN/ TSUMARI STORY
BY RONGRONG & INRI
Fujisan Series [These are examples of] collaborative works that RongRong and inri created after they had found each other and fallen in love. As if reborn from ruins, nature, still unspoiled, comes back to life. The two photographers embrace this amazing world. Harmony has triumphed; struggle has subsided. Sensual pleasure has returned to supply a main purpose for artistic creation; even the frozen, frightening winter landscape of Mt. Fuji can only inspire joy. Looking around at today’s world filled with hatred and misunderstanding, I am relieved to see the persistence of the old ideal of chan tui-immortality in these beautiful images.
-Text by Hu Hung from Tui (Transfiguration) – The Image World of RongRong and inri, 2003
Liulitun Series RongRong&inri first lived together in Liulitun. In this very short, almost utopian, period, they focused entirely on photography. In 2002, when the city of Beijing was expanding, buildings all over town were being demolished and rebuilt. RongRong&inri lost their home and were forced to leave. When their courtyard was turned into a pile of rubble, RongRong&inri held a funeral for their home; they were the only ones in attendance, presenting white lilies. In Liulitun, RongRong&inri chose not to objectively photograph the perpetually changing urban landscape. Instead, they focused on their own lives and their relationships to these changes; this became the foundation for their lives today.
Tsumari Story Series After a decade in which Rong Rong and inri lived in Beijing, they moved to Japan with their three sons late in 2012. The photographs they had created together provide an intensely personal chronicle of their life together in Beijing as it changed beyond all recognition, and the development of the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre among other subjects. When they were invited to participate in the Echigo Tsumari Triennial in 2012, they were inspired by the magnificent landscapes of the “Snow Country” and the unchanging way of life they found there to create a new body of work that explores their relationship to each other and to the forces of nature. Wearing traditional Japanese costume, they appear in dramatic photographs taken inside a traditional Japanese house, enjoying the pleasures of onsen and braving the snowfalls for which the area is famous. For the first time, their three sons feature as participants in many of the photographs, adding a new dimension to the poetic transcription of their life together for which their photographs are celebrated. The Tsumari Story represents the work of the two photographers at the height of their powers as they respond to the new rural environment in which they lived for much of 2012.
1_ an image of the Fujisan Series
2_ an image of the Fujisan Series
3_ an image of the Liulitun Series
4_ an image of the Liulitun Series
5_ an image of the Tsumari Story Series
6_ an image of the Tsumari Story Series
About the author
RongRong (China) and inri (Japan) have been working together since 2000. Their works reflect the intimate world that they have created together and push the boundaries of traditional black-and-white darkroom techniques. Their critically acclaimed series of works, such as Mt. Fuji (2001), Liulitun (1996-2003), and Tsumari Story (2012-2014), reflect their shared life and surroundings, delving into the rapidly changing world around them. In 2007, RongRong & inri established the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in the Beijing arts district Caochangdi. In 2008, they launched the annual Three Shadows Photography Award, a prize aimed at discovering and encouraging China's most promising young photographers. In 2010, they started a collaboration with the Arles International Photography Festival and coproduced the Caochangdi Photo Spring Festival in Beijing for three years from 2010 to 2012. They have continued this collaboration at Three Shadows' Xiamen location, where since 2015 they have cohosted the Arles x Jimei Festival . RongRong&inri received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, recognized for both their careers as artists and their significant impact on Asian photography.
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