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Film & photography

Charles Fréger, Yokainoshima

Thursday, 01 November 2018  -  Thursday, 24 October 2019

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Ogres, spirits, ghosts or demons.
In Japan, myths and folklore have survived since ancient times and into the present. Every fantastic or supernatural creature is attributed to a class called “y?kai".

Owing to the geological nature of the archipelago, the Japanese people are particularly exposed to the creative and destructive forces of the natural elements. The population is particularly attuned to Nature’s rhythm and has maintained specific ties to the primary forces. The belief in mythical and irrational phenomena has had its place in the culture of mankind for millennia.
Some events elude human understanding; the gap is filled by emotions and imagination. This opens a door to parallel worlds, helping to explain inexplicable things, to overcome life’s trials and tribulations, or to seek supernatural protection for the future. These beings, called upon for protection and support, manifest themselves in changing and masked forms, their character and nature ambiguous. Some apparitions are frightening, others inspire respect, others still are adored and solicited for their mercy and their empathy. Celebrated in the rites and traditions of rural folklore, the Y?kai have become popular during festivals and seasonal ceremonies.

The French photographer Charles Fréger has taken an interest in their effigy. To take their portrait, he places them in an original environment drawn from his imagination: a landscape chosen specially to support an expressive posture and choreographed gestures. He focuses on the visual potential of his motifs

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