On his Japanese journey, Łukasz Rusznica chose spirits and other supernatural creatures as his guides. He asked them for help in mapping a new territory, and appears to have received an additional gift: a discovery about oneself and one’s own background, which seems to be the actual journey here: a more significant one than conquering purely physical distance. Along with the evolution of societies, rising unpredictability, mobility and dependence on technologies, the folk spirituality evolves into lived spirituality – one which may appear unorthodox, but relies on direct experience and presence of the divine element in common surroundings.
“When travelling to Japan, I knew that I wanted to photograph the Yokai — the monsters of Japanese legend, but above all I was open to the experience. Photography came as the result of working in new surroundings; it was the end process of meeting people and building relationships — this is surely why so many of the pictures (and the intimate ones in particular) are of my friends or the people who trusted me — of humane people. The non-human world is more than a background or visual filler; it is of equal importance. I understood that what interested me most here was nature whatever is subject to biological, chemical, and physical processes — whatever exists, grows old, and decays. This series enquires about the whole — how unfulfilled we feel and how we seek a way out. This was the origin of Subterranean River.” Lukasz Rusznica