Artist Statement

Nothing had prepared me for my father’s death. After it, I also had two serious accidents. Recovery was slow and just as things were returning to normal, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck.

I was left with no strength to get even out of bed in the morning.

One day, my father came to me in a dream and told me to go to a village where he used to live a long time ago. Following his instructions, I arrived at a place covered in deep snow.

There, an ancient 1300-year old shrine ritual, “ZAIDO”, was being performed. Before it, the performers are required to undertake a very strict purification which from a modern viewpoint seems extremely hard. Japan is a country surrounded by sea and a unique culture exists here. But I fear that it is starting to disappear. However, there still exist people who are willing to continue protecting it. I would like to express my greatest respect for the villagers’ love and enthusiasm for the local community which helped me find meaning in life again.


About Artist

Yukari Chikura born in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from university of music, she became a music composer, arranger and programmer. She is the winner of STEIDL BOOK AWARD and her work was published by STEIDL in 2020.

She won LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016, 2020 IPA International Photography Awards : Book / Other ( 1st ), Sony World Photography Awards, Photolucida Critical Mass TOP50 (Winner) 2016 & 2015, Julia Margaret Cameron Award ( 1st ), National Geographic among others. She held 15 solo exhibitions and group exhibitions at museum, galleries around the world. Some projects have been collected in Griffin Museum in the US and Bibliotheque nationale de France. Her photograph was selected as “FOTOFEST Discoveries of the Meeting Place, “IPA Best of Show photographer 2013” (Lucie Foundation).

Her work was published by NY Times, Guardian,Financial Times, Vanity Fair, Photobook Journal, PDN, Vice Magazine, Wallpaper* among others.

Posted under