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Like cherry blossom in the land of the rising sun, this ninth portfolio Japan has bloomed for Sakura, in April. Although none of the 14 photographs in this work represent the season and the age-old tradition of celebrating it, it is however subtly suggested by the rosy hues of the presentation box.

These photographs depict the three natural elements – Wood, Earth and Water – captured during various journeys in Japan. It is not unusual to see them together in the same image, as it is often difficult to separate them in Japanese landscapes.

In autumn, it is the flamboyant reds of the Nara maples and the forests of Kyûshu, but also the subtle greens of trees in Nikko that evoke Wood.

The koi carp in a Kyôto temple, which seem to swim in the reflection of clouds, or Lake Tazawa in Tohoku and its hypnotic turquoise surface illustrate Water. Legend would have it that this lake, the deepest in Japan, is home to a pair of lovers whose burning passion prevents the water from freezing in winter.

Finally, Earth is represented by Mount Asahidake under the last snows in Hokkaido and also by a stone Buddha sculpture in Kôya-san.

These three elements are translated into pictures, but also in French, English, and Japanese using kanji, katakana and hiragana calligraphy. Introductions to the photographs are set forth on parchment.

The cover pages are made from traditional Japanese paper. The “washi” paper, different in each work, confers them with an almost unique character.

35x45cm portfolio. 28x38cm plate. Edition limited to 999 examples.

Claire Xuan. Japan. Éléments d’édition. 2006. 380 € tax inclusive. VAT: 5.5%.

Small presentation display box and large portfolio plate are available on request.