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THE YOKOHAMA PROJECT 1867-2017

Giada Ripa

Palazzo Litta Cultura – 4 – 29 October 2017
Palazzo Litta

In collaboration with: MIA Photo Fair Project

It all began with the fortuitous discovery by the photographer Giada Ripa of Views and portraits of Japan by Felice Beato, an album of ancient photographs, fifty-three hand-colored albumin prints, with portraits and views of the city of Yokohama and its surroundings.
Settled in Japan just after the doors opened to the Western world, photographer Felice Beato was the first visual storyteller of 19th-century Japanese society, helping to shape the Western vision of Asian society.

A few months later, Giada Ripa finds the Voyageau Japon manuscript and the Carnet de Voyage, travel correspondence of Mathilde Ruinart, her ancestor, artist and muse of various intellectuals, who in 1867 left for the East following her husband Vittorio de la Tour, Italian minister in Yokohama since 1867. The hypothesis of a possible friendship with Felice Beato emerges, which would justify the discovery of the photographic album.

The Yokohama Project 1867-2017 is the autobiographical and personal journey of a western traveler in the footsteps of her ancestor and the extraordinary photographer, discovering and at the same time unveiling of the Yokohama landscape one hundred and fifty years later.

In a constant comparison between past and present, the exhibition involves the observer on different levels. Immersing himself in the evocative rediscovery of a seemingly distant world, once only dreamed and imagined, the visitor has the opportunity to know an unprecedented and authentic historical testimony, from which the contemporary artist herself moves her steps and with which she then feels the duty to confront.

The project is part of the contemporary photographic research that places at the center of the investigation the study and representation of places, understood as territories, open and indefinite, in which the continuous and multiform passage of human beings, the mutant and incongruous presences cultural, cohabitation, opposition and complex integrations of groups, ethnic groups or religious communities of different origins, make the condition of the individual increasingly fragile and unstable, and his relationship with the world increasingly ambiguous and alienating.

Her artistic research focuses on the analysis of space as a tool for exploring personal identity, with particular attention to Asia. In her work Giada Ripa often confronts – as in the Falling Icons and Displacement Series – with foreign and remote places, full of cultural, historical and geopolitical implications.

Main Sponsor of The Yokohama Project 1867-2017 exhibition is BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas which with this partnership confirms its commitment to the promotion and dissemination of art, a real collective heritage, an objective also pursued through @bnl_cultura, the instagram account of the Bank.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Maison Ruinart.
The staging project is curated by the aMDL architect Michele De Lucchi studio with Giovanna Latis, who conceived a system of modular elements that modifies and declines the space in multiple combinations capable of accommodating the different artistic expressions throughout the year.
The giant posters on canvas are printed on Fujifilm technology, thanks to the support of the Partner Fujifilm Italy.

photo credits Fabio Bortot
The Yokohama Project
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