Tokyo and Osaka are cities with ultra modern architecture, huge shopping streets with all the big fashion brands and electronics stores dedicated to the latest gadgets. On the other hand, you have Kyoto and Nara with its more than 2000 temples and special Zen gardens combined. For Tanis Tokyo and Osaka are symbols for the future and Kyoto and Nara for the past.
How do traditions remain alive while modern society is changing and how is the past integrated with the present? This is what Tanis investigates and visualizes in this work.
When we look at a the image of the Sumo wrestler, it is easy to forget that Sumo's origins go back at least 1500 years, making it the world's oldest organized sport.
The earliest records of Maneki-Neko (beckoning cat) dates back to 1852 when it first appeared in the Bukō Nenpyō (A Chronology of Edo). Hiroshige's Joruri-Machi Hanka no Zu, painted also in 1852, depicts the Marushime-Neko, a variation of Maneki-Neko, being sold at the Senso temple in Tokyo.
The first geisha were actually male, appearing around the year 1730. It was only about 20 years later that female geisha began to appear and quickly took over the profession, dominating it by 1780.
Aram Tanis shows us places and refers to traditions that are hundreds of years old, and he combines these photographs with images of modern everyday life.
Fonds Anna Cornelis