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Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
155A Caochangdi,
Chaoyang District,
Beijing, China 100015
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Tsumari Story
by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
Location: Three Shadow Photography Art Centre
Artist(s): Rongrong & Inri
Date: 26 Jul - 26 Oct 2014

In 2012, RongRong & inri accepted an invitation to participate in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. In part, they acted as curators of the “Asian Photography Centre” for the event, and also, as artists, they created a new body of work in this location. Upon arrival in Tsumari, RongRong & inri were immediately awestruck by the palpable power of nature in that place. Furthermore, their works have always used the theme of “the circle of life” to explore the relationship between humankind and nature. Shortly thereafter, the two artists began production of Tsumari Story. 

At that time, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre had just celebrated its 5th anniversary. In the intervening five years since its founding, RongRong & inri were continuously busy working in Beijing, seldom having time to create new photographs. Once they had the opportunity to be temporarily distanced from their work at Three Shadows, and reconnect firsthand with nature and the surrounding environment of Echigo-Tsumari, RongRong & inri finally returned to their free and unadulterated role as artists. From the lush and succulent greens of spring and summer, to the pure white brutal beauty of seemingly endless ice and snow in winter, everything served as a source of endless inspiration. As such, at the end of 2012 inri moved with their three children to Japan fulltime, while RongRong began frequently traveling back and forth between Beijing and Tokyo. 

Since production of Tsumari Story started in early 2012, RongRong & inri have made frequent trips to Echigo to shoot. They have experienced the power of the four seasons there, and often bring their three children to participate in their photography. In summer 2012, RongRong & inri transformed a local abandoned elementary school into an exhibition hall, showing Tsumari Story for the first time. In June 2014, RongRong & inri exhibited this series at Mizuma Art Gallery and it was named one of “Tokyo’s 10 Unmissable Art Exhibitions of the Summer” by The Culture Trip. Finally, in summer 2014, RongRong & inri will bring their Tsumari Story to Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, marking the premiere of this series in China. 

People frequently ask them if Tsumari Story is complete. The artists originally planned to conclude the series after documenting four seasons, however each time they return to Tsumari, Mother Nature pleasantly surprises them with still more to discover. It seems that they have found an inexhaustible source of inspiration and perhaps this story will continue on… 

*image (left)
courtesy of Three Shadow Photography Art Centre

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