SHIGERU YOSHIDA, one of the directors of SAMURAI FOTO was invited to an international photo festival in Kazakhstan

hold on July 1th - 8th , 2017
About PHOTO fest. KZ (international photo festival in Kazakhstan)……
The Republic of Kazakhstan, in the southern part of Russia, is a country with a lot of natural resources like coal and uranium, and is the ninth largest country in the world. Astana, a capital of Kazakhstan is a breathtaking futuristic city and has been in the midst of an economic boom. EXPO 2017 ASTANA has also been opened and now, Kazakhstan has a powerful momentum in every field to the world. They held an international photo festival, ‘PHOTO fest. KZ’, and Shigeru Yoshida, one of the directors of SAMURAI FOTO was invited
ロシアの南に位置するカザフスタン共和国は世界第9位の面積を持ち、石炭やウランといった天然資源に恵まれた国。首都アスタナは美しすぎる未来都市とも呼ばれ、好景気に湧いています。今年はEXPOも開催され、あらゆる分野で国の勢いを放つカザフスタンで、国際写真フェスティバル「PHOTO fest.KZ」が開催され、吉田繁先生が招待作家として招かれました。

Their aim is to give a place for well-known world photographers to have international and cultural exchanges with each other in Astana. The invited photographers had stayed in Kazakhstan from July 1st to 8th and joined the exhibition in The National Museum. With various themes in different countries, they exhibited their own photographs and showed them to people in Kazakhstan. Also, all the invited photographers were divided into 7 groups and traveled in the various areas in Kazakhstan to take photographs. Some took air planes and some drove, they had three days and two nights trip from July 2nd to 4th. After being back to the trip, they got together again and started making a photo book, ‘Kazakhstan by eyes of world photographers’. Then, this photo book will be given to the President of Kazakhstan. Additionally, Sultan Srailov, the person responsible, managed all the things and bore all the expenses such as Airfare, photo printing, the hotel, meal, transportation, daily expenses, and interpreters through the event.

PHOTO fest. KZ (カザフスタン国際写真フェスティバル)とは……
首都アスタナに、国際的に活躍している著名な写真家を招待 して、その交流を図るプラットフォームとなることが目的です。招待されたゲストたちは2017年7月1〜8日にカザフスタンに滞在。大きな目的のひとつは、National Museum で開催されるExhibitionに参加。異なる国のさまざまなテーマで撮られたプロジェクトの作品を展示し、カザフスタン国内外の人々に見てもらいます。もうひとつの目的は “Kazakhstan by eyes of world photographers”という大型写真集の製作。招待作家たちは7月2〜4日の2泊3日で、7チームに分かれて飛行機、車などでカザフスタン国内に散らばり、各地を撮影。それらをまとめた写真集を大統領に贈るというもの。なお、このイベントのheadはSultan Srailovさんで、このフェスティバルでは展示作品のプリント代から航空券、宿泊費、食事代、移動にかかる費用、日々のさまざまな必要経費、通訳代(英語からカザフスタン語)など、かかる費用のすべてをカバー してくれます。

A Photo Exhibition in The National Museum of Kazakhstan

The Museum in Astana is huge, and we can’t see such a large-scale building in Japan. The beautiful blue sky reflecting on this modern building’s wall attracted us.
国立美術館で写真展開催 写真展の会場は首都アスタナにあるNational Museum。日本では考えられないほど大きな建物であるだけでなく、美しい青空を映すとてもモダンな美術館です。

Photographers were from Kazakhstan, Russia, the United States, Turkey, France, and Italy and so on. The host bore all the expenses.

At the opening ceremony, the Minister of the art and sport who managed the entire event gave the speech. After some speeches of famous curator in Russia, Shigeru Yoshida took a turn to speech.As the first international photo festival in Kazakhstan, the ceremony was full of many enthusiastic people.

As the first international photo festival in Kazakhstan, the ceremony was full of many enthusiastic people.

Shigeru Yoshida’s exhibition space
He showed 8 black-and-white photographs including his project ‘Border for prayer’, ‘Yokai no Kuni’ and the new project, working on the theme of fire.
プロジェクト「Border for a prayer」「Yōkai no Kuni」の他、火をテーマにした作品など8点のモノクロプリントが展示されました。

He was interviewed by TV crews constantly. From Journalist in this country to ordinary people, he was asked many questions the whole time. Many of them wanted to have a picture taken with him.

A Digest video at the opening ceremony

Astana, a futuristic city

Republic of Kazakhstan declared independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The government moved its first capital, Almaty to Astana in 1997. The following year, an international competition of the new capital design was held and Japanese designer, Kisho Kurokawa won the competition. His city planning project was chosen among 27 teams and the construction had started under his plan. With an abundance of natural resources, Kazakhstan has made a remarkable economic growth. Besides, marvelous modern high buildings were built here and there, as if showing us their richness symbolically. At the time of capital relocation, the population was 270,000. After a decade, it grew over 570,000, almost double. And in 2014, about 870,000 people have been living in this city. The government presumes that the population will be one million in 2030. Now more and more high buildings have been under construction with a city planning which is advanced progressively toward the city of one million in 2030.

After the following day of the opening ceremony, the invited photographers were divided into 7 groups and started their photo taking trips to many areas in Kazakhstan. They will make a photo book which will be given to the President of Kazakhstan. All the photographers had to sign articles of agreement.

Shigeru Yoshida’s group went to the mountain area in southern Kazakhstan. After passing through Astana, the prairie spread out. It was like typical central Asian scenery. We had a 6-hour, 500 km drive to get to the shooting spot.

We finally got to "Bayanaul aul-village" where families enjoyed camping and bathing. Since this is the country with no sea, and the temperature heats up to 40 degree in summer time, playing in the lake is one of the popular activities in this country.
辿り着いたのはたくさんの家族連れがキャンプや水浴びをする湖の小さな町、Bayanaul aul-village。海のない国ですが、夏は40度にもなるせいか、湖で泳ぐのがこの国では一般的なようです。

During this three-day two-night trip, photographers took pictures of Kazakhstan and had to give 50 pictures to the organizer of the photo book. Yoshida’s group went into the mountain area”"Bayanaul National park" to shoot some pictures with their local guide. The scenery was totally different from its Japanese one.

Taking pictures at the picturesque place with many odd-shaped rocks…We met a man who has been working as a guard of the calcareous cave and asked for one picture shot. Unlike Japanese mountain with lots of greenery, they were rocky in Kazakhstan. We had been looking for a good spot to get a nice picture there.

While we were on the picture-taking trip, we met a lot of local people. They were nice and friendly, moreover, they looked like Japanese. It was a precious time for us to see them and had a great time.

After the shooting trip, we went to Ishim River and took a riverboat tour before going to the EXPO. Not only taking photos as the invited photographers, but also pleasure guests, this photo festival amused us throughout the stay.

The theme of the EXPO is ‘Energy of the future’. Their complex facilities of the EXPO had a 174 hectare site. They plan to reuse those buildings as offices of some global companies and laboratories after the expo.
EXPOのテーマは「Energy of the Future」。博覧会関連の複合施設は174ha。パビリオン施設は万博後には、グローバル企業のオフィスと研究施設に生まれ変わります。

As of the host of the EXPO, the pavilion of Kazakhstan was overwhelming, which had seven stories above the ground and one story basement. From the first floor to the top, it was an open ceiling, which made the space gorgeous. Moreover, the view from the observation deck was really splendid.

As of the host of the EXPO, the pavilion of Kazakhstan was overwhelming, which had seven stories above the ground and one story basement. From the first floor to the top, it was an open ceiling, which made the space gorgeous. Moreover, the view from the observation deck was really splendid.

A photo festival as a bridge of the world

This is Sultan Srailov, the person responsible of the PHOTO fest. KZ. (left in the picture) We were so grateful for his concerns and his hospitality in every way. It was a precious experiment for us not only having a photo exhibition but having a photo-taking trip around Kazakhstan. Furthermore, making a photo book with the photographers from many other countries was also a great idea. We enjoyed seeing around the EXPO and taking pictures with each other. Every invited photographer has held the photo exhibition worldwide. Some of them run a photographer’s organization and others have strong connections with Embassy. We also met some curators who have a great influence with important people. During the stay, Shigeru Yoshida and Setsuko Kanie promoted to have a photo exhibition of a member of SAMURAIFOTO in the art museum (the Museum of Fine Arts in Ekaterinburg)in Russia. To wide a circle of people and photographs from Kazakhstan is one of Sultan’s dreams. We are grateful for his hospitality and corporation, we pray for the success of PHOTO feat.KZ and furthermore developments of Kazakhstan.

PHOTO fest.KZというイベントのheadはSultanさん(写真左)。何から何まで細かい気遣いとホスピタリティでもてなしてくださいました。写真展だけでなく、カザフスタンの国内のあちこちを旅し、EXPOを見学しながら、いろんな国の写真家たちに撮影してもらい、写真集をつくるという試みも素晴らしいと思いました。また、招待された写真家たちは皆、国を超えたexhibitionを開催していたり、写真家のorganizationを組織していたり、大使館などとパイプがある人たち。あるいはそういう人物をたくさん知っているキューレターさんなどでした。吉田先生と蟹江先生で滞在中に話を進め、SAMURAI関係者のロシアの美術館(エカテリンブルグ・ファインアート・美術館)での写真展が早くも実現しています。カザフスタンから人の輪、写真の輪が拡がっていくこと。これはSultanさんの思い描いた夢のひとつのでもあると思います。感謝を込めて、今後のカザフスタンとPHOTO fest.KZの発展をお祈りしております。

International exchange achievement

We showed SAMURAIFOTO website to Martynov Andrey, a curator of Russia. He held a lot of exhibition such as Novosibirsk International Biennale..
ノボシビルスクの国際ビエンナーレをはじめ、ロシア国内外で多くのexhibitionを行なっているキューレターのMartynov AndreyさんにSAMURAIのHPを見せました。

Andrey said that to find and introduce photographers from all over the world is something worth in his life. He keeps holding photo exhibitions and makes great efforts to introduce Japanese photographers to the world.

During the PHOTO fest. KZ, thanks to Andrey, we could have a photo exhibition of a member of SAMURAI FOTO in Yekaterinburg art museum in Russia.

アンドレさんとはPHOTO fest.KZ期間中に話を進め、エカテリンブルグ美術館でのexhibitionにSAMURAI関係者の作品が展示されることになりました。

Yekaterinburg is located in the center of Russia and is one of the four biggest cities in this country. The city is the biggest industrial center and has a lot of higher educational facilities, museums and theaters. Especially, Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts is the biggest art museum in Ural region. There, a photo exhibition, ‘The Tokyo Stories’ which Andrey had organized will be started from July 20th. Many photographers in Japan and Europe had visited Tokyo and taken photos from various kinds of angle. Those photographs show the diversity of Tokyo with different concepts. 18 photographers joined this project. You can see more than 100 art works there. This project has been held as a part of the Photo festival called ‘FOTOLETO 2017’, which promotes the development of the artistic photographs in Yekaterinburg. Many modern art galleries, universities and photo centers are participate and it is held as the big event of this city.

エカテリンブルグ(Yekaterinburg)はロシア中央部に位置するロシア四大都市の一つ。工業の一大中心地でもあるこの大都市には高等教育機関や博物館、劇場などが多数存在します。なかでもYekaterinburg Museum of Fine Artsはウラル地方最大の美術館です。ここで7月20日から開催されるのがアンドレさんが企画した“The Tokyo Stories”という写真展です。日本やヨーロッパなどさまざまな国の写真家たちが東京を訪れて、さまざまなコンセプトで東京の多様性を表現したもので、参加写真家は18名。100点を越える作品が展示されています。なお、このexhibitionは“ FOTOLETO2017”というエカテリンブルグ市が写真芸術の発展を促進するというPhoto festivalの一つとして開催されるもので、モダンアート・ギャラリーや大学、写真センターなど、市をあげての大きなイベントとして開催されます。
Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts /エカテリンブルグ・ファインアート美術館

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