Youry BILAK spent six years in a Ukrainian village in the mountains of the Carpathians, a 1500 km long mountain range that stretches across Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Serbia. In a region cut off from urban life, traditions handed down for more than a hundred years are still kept alive, and Youry was fascinated by the culture which has taken root there.
The artist says, “I wanted to capture the richness of costumes and embroidery, and document the remnants of a life which transcends the generations of Hutsul living in this village.”
The production of this series also became an unexpected and timeless gift to the artist himself, as Youry discovered, after the photographs were taken, that the area was the birthplace of his great-grandfather. This gave the inspiration to create a craft-based work, in which one-of-a-kind Polaroid photographs were transferred to paper produced from hemp fibers of antique folk costumes, that are no longer worn, using the old rubber-bichromate photo printing technique. In addition, the paper is embedded with traditional Ukrainian embroidery done by a local embroiderer.
"Timeless Hutsuls" is an archive of the history of folk costumes, as well as the personal history of Youry Bilak himself, put together as a timeless work of art.
Through his work, Youry seeks to convey the existence of a history which has been built up between the hopes and fears people hold for an uncertain future and give testimony to the unexpected personal encounter with the hidden history he experienced.
Born in 1961. French, currently based in Paris. His parents are Ukrainian and immigrated during World War II, so he spends his childhood familiar with Ukrainian culture.
He first moved to Ukraine in 1983 and was impressed by the culture centered on local dance. Since then, based on activities and workshops on the stage, he has been widely active as a stage actor, director, and photographer in the theater in Europe and NY, including the Mogador Theater in Paris.
In 2000, she turned to work as a photographer in earnest. From 2004 to 2010, the "Timeless Hutsuls" series, which summarizes the Hutsul folk costumes and culture of Ukraine, and "Miners du monde", which shot workers working in underground mines in Ukraine since 2011. (World miners) ”series.
Then, in the wake of the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014, we will focus on the ongoing Russian-Ukraine issue, and explore the daily lives of soldiers, volunteers, doctors, and the citizens who are in the immediate vicinity. I keep shooting.
WACOAL STUDYHALL KYOTO Gallery
10:00 - 20:00
Open:4/8-5/6 10:00-20:00 (10:00-17:30 on 5/3, 5/4, 5/5）
Closed:Sat. Sun. National holidays