PROJECT STATEMENT :
From the beginnings of recorded history, Mt. Fuji has been important to Japanese culture, myth and legend. Today, Mt. Fuji is an internationally recognized icon of Japan and aptly a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In these works, Emerson photographed Mt. Fuji in a manner not previously seen but simultaneously alluding to the work of the legendary Ukiyo-e artists, namely Hiroshige and Hokusai.
The Japanese woodblock prints, influenced by Western ideas of perspective were in turn credited as being an important influence in the emergence of Impressionism in Europe.
It is not simply the aesthetic values of the Ukiyo-e landscapes that chimed with Emerson but also the concept of the journey and the process in which they were created.
Layering has often been used in the creation of Emerson’s work, whether in camera or in pre/post-production. He states; ‘Without layers the piece can become overly fixated with the subject’s physical representation. Instead layers transport the subject, and hopefully the viewer with it, away from the everyday reality.’
For this series, Emerson layered his works by refining a previously developed technique, shooting multiple exposures on film. When shooting these works, careful notation and pre planning were employed to keep the composition in mind, yet it was not completely realised until viewing the processed films. Similarly the Ukiyo-e woodcuts were created in a fragmented fashion, the final print run revealing the ultimate composition.
The multiple exposures incorporated elements ranging from city lights to cherry blossom and cigarette vending machines. This method produces more profound photographs, not only creating aesthetically stunning and unique works but also imbuing the pieces with an enhanced commentary and meaning.
World Wide Print Release: November 2016
Exhibition 1: 22 Nov 2016 – 29 Jan 2017 Shizuoka City Tokaido Hiroshige Museum, Japan :
Exhibition 2: 11 – 29 January 2017, White Conduit Projects, Islington, London.