Selected as one of the Best Books of 2018 by Simon Baker
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