New East Digital Archive

Subterranean River: take a spiritual journey through Japan with Poland’s Łukasz Rusznica

20 June 2018

When Polish photographer Łukasz Rusznica travelled through Japan, he chose spirits and supernatural creatures to be his guides.

As well as helping Rusznica map and discover this new land, they also took the Wrocław-based curator on a second, more powerful journey — one of self-discovery.

Rusznica’s travels cumulate in his latest photobook, Subterranean River. Shortlisted for the Unseen Dummy Award in 2017, the book explores the concept of spirituality and how it is moulded by changing societies, increased mobility, and our reliance on technology.

“When travelling to Japan, I knew that I wanted to photograph the Yokai — the monsters of Japanese legend — but above all I was open to the experience,” says Rusznica. “The non-human world is more than a background or visual filler; it is of equal importance. This series enquires about the whole: how unfilled we feel and how we seek a way out. This was the origin of Subterranean River.”

Subterranean River will launch on 28 June at The Photographers’ Gallery Bookshop in London between 6pm — 8pm. For more information, visit the bookshop’s website here.

Read our interview with Łukasz Rusznica here.