Ryo Kusumoto’s artist book “Renjishi” order available now.
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RPS is now ready to take online orders for Ryo Kusumoto’s artist book, “Renjishi”. Ryo was one of participants for 2017 photobook as an object workshop by Jan Rosseel and Yumi Goto, in collaboration with Reminders Photography Stronghold.
This artist book was nominated Unseen Dummy Award 2018.
This is a story of Fumiko Yamato, a Japanese dancer. Though highly acclaimed both domestically and internationally, she has long been considered as a misfit or unorthodox within the circle of traditional Japanese dance. While following the structure of her signature performance “Renjishi”, my attempt in this book is to visually represent her life that broke through the wild side, the difficulty and ambivalence in exchanging the art and love.
Now at the age of 77, she had been active on the forefront of the post-war dance society’s most flourished era and continued to dance. She had given up life as a woman, abandoned respected company and performing on stages of high regards. Those traits signify the fact that she is completely different from usually strict and often conservative Japanese traditional dancers.
We, Japanese, regard popularity as value with unconditional admiration especially in the world of tradition. Yet, theatergoers decline greatly in numbers through generations over the years. For me, this addresses assumptions that casually abandoning the responsibility in judging the value of any form of art for oneself, and the cruelty of denying or disregarding the value of our fellow average folks as illegitimate is evident thus very ominous. In this respect, her choices and conflicts in life on the little-known side, not captured by existing values, have a rare attraction that became the initial impulse of this project. Therefore, the beauty and tradition of dance is not the essence of this story, but they serve as tools of storytelling.
During the research, I found a picture of her taken around the time she started dancing. I felt that the wormhole, which drilled through her whole body in the picture, was a strong metaphor that talks eloquently about the period of her hunger for affection, and consequently what fulfilled it.
By casting light both to her existence on the stage and off, I captured the life of a dancer who travels back and forth between the imaginary and the real world. Duplication, collage, rebooting and connecting of impressions, I organized in multiple layers using various photographic methodologies while looking back over 70 years.
This work is a tribute and a new interpretation of the classical piece “Renjishi”, * “Renjishi” is … Legend has it that on the Chinese mountain, lions pierced cubs to the bottom of the valley and watched them climb back up the cliff. After the tale was introduced to Japan, it was transformed into the unique culture of Noh, Kabuki, and other Japanese traditional dances. In this performance, white represents a father lion, red represents a cub. The dance embodies affections between a parent and a child, as well as the challenge and hardships of pioneering one’s own path.
Languages: English or Japanese edition
size：248mm × 163mm × 22mm
Edition Number : 68editions only (all made to order) all signed and given the edition number by the artist
Photo /Illustration / Edit / Print / Bookbinding : Ryo Kusumoto
The book dummy was shortlisted
Unseen Dummy Award 2018
COSMOS PDF Award 2019
Fiebre Dummy Award 2019
Basic Concept: developed in the 2017 photobook as an object workshop by Yumi Goto and Jan Rosseel in collaboration with Reminders Photography Stronghold.
**All books will be produced by the artist from printing to binding, it may take to dispatch 2 to 3 months after we confirm your order.