The Tenri Cultural Institute presents an exhibition by Kuzma Vostrikov, in collaboration with Ajuan Song – Just to Land in Tokyo.
The photographs exhibited are illustrations to a novel of the same name, written by Kuzma Vostrikov in 2017. The exhibition is dedicated to the completion of the novel’s translation into English by Jessica Mroz.
Hans was a photographer in his late thirties. Having lived through the accidental death of his mother while escaping as a family from East Germany in his youth, he was not able to get past the tragedy and adapt to new life far away from his homeland. People would always remark on how odd he was. For years he kept his past a secret – until the very last day. He tried everything he could to become better and stronger from what had transpired long ago due to a lack of preparedness. Hans hanged himself at dawn in Central Park. On a small island near Belvedere Castle. What, in the end, caused the successful almost-forty-year-old photographer to rebuke every living thing with the shape of his dismal dead body hanging in winter near the pond?
Photo illustrations for the novel were shot in 2016, while the text was being written, each process influencing the other. Hans’ hero is Andy Warhol, whom he prints out, life-size, and backs with cardboard. Warhol becomes his adviser and companion, accompanying him throughout the book.
Just to Land in Tokyo is a nostalgia project, but its nostalgia is not for the pop-art whose motifs permeate the photographs. It is the pain of longing for the past, whose echoes compose the melody of our actions.