Raoul Ries: Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is widely considered a majestic mountain—lauded, interpreted, surmounted. In the early nineteenth century, Katsushika Hokusai honored it with thirty-six woodcuts. Working according to Japanese tradition, he used symbols representing the seasons and depicted people engaged in activities alluding to the future. The genre is known as Ukiyo-e and the images describe a world in flux, in terms of both space and time. Inspired by this artistic concept, the Luxembourgian artist Raoul Ries circumnavigated Fuji with his camera, capturing realistic moments. The mighty mountain always bursts into the frame, like a leitmotif: sometimes sublime, sometimes hidden, as if playing a game with the viewer. At the end of the journey, not only have readers become familiar with Fuji’s various angles of view, but they’ve also been given a good look at Japanese society, its connection with nature and its everyday life. In short, what we find here is landscape photography with an idea and wit.