“SANSUI” drew it’s first breath when a man visited the Tohoku Region of Japan.
He determined a mythical pilgrimage route which may have once existed through conversations he had with local mountain ascetic hermits and research.
By connecting the two brutal midwinter mountains in north, Mount Choukai and Mount Gassan (according to folklore, known as mountain of the sun and mountain of the moon respectively), with a straight line, he saw compelling images of the monochrome world in which snow mountain, whirling rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, immense forests, expansive earth and endless sky circulate.
The image, attained through near-ascetic physical hardships gives viewers a tranquil and contemplative experience in outstanding resolution.
(The road we took was, by a curious coincidence, similar to the one Matsuo Basho had traveled in “Okuno Hosomichi”.)
This is the image that may “ the worship that may have once existed” gazed into.
Perhaps, the beautiful footage which can be described as a modern “Shan Shui” (a monochrome landscape painting), evokes Japanese primitive mythology.
The man was inspired by conversations he had with local mountain ascetic hermits to construct hypothesis on the mythical pilgrimage route of mountain worship which may have once existed and he unearthed it. Then he visited there.
※Whilst in this process, he drew an imaginary line between two mountains, Mount Choukai and Mount Gassan on the map. This approach let him hold a comprehensive viewpoint.
For the man, the whirling rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, immense forests, expansive earth and endless sky appeared on the imaginary line evoked imagery of ancient Japanese myths.
The first half of this footage begins with the scenes of the mountain of the sun and the mountain of the moon and trace back the road in the same structure as if it replicates the perspective of the transcendental being connecting the sun and the moon.
This footage seeing the landscape walking in the sky gives a feeling viewers that they exceeds their ordinal perception and change their sense of time.
Furthermore, all of the currently known, orally passed down, mountain worship practices in Tohoku strongly insist that one must ‘physically go there’, to endure the hardships of climbing the mountain oneself.
(“For this reason”, the artist states that he chose to film the mountain’s ambience in the middle of winter with his own hands.)
His ability to present reality in an abstract fashion differs from the generic archived videos; he replicates salient experiences by capturing not only images at a location but also the tense atmosphere.
The super-resolution sensor of the 6K camera allowed the artist the film peaceful and contemplative scenes despite the intense physical conditions. The footage, attained through near-ascetic physical hardships portrays a tranquil and contemplative experience in outstanding resolution.
Perhaps, this is the same image that the worship that may have once existed” experienced.
Looking at what seemed like a waterfall from the heavens, the artist came to a realization that he was in fact filming the mountain and the water, and therefore titled his work “SANSUI”.
※The final piece has been set to music by Marihiko Hara.
※To visit the archived website click here
※The road Eugene took was, by a curious coincidence, similar to the one Matsuo Basho had travelled in Okuno Hosomichi (Translated alternately as The Narrow Road to the Deep North and The Narrow Road to the Interior). Perhaps these two different art forms, film and haiku, are similar in the sense that both must convey the aesthetics of the scenery to the utmost of its potential, within each art forms limitations.