Exhibition “Repatriatsiya” in Moscow in 2019. With archive images, found objects, 3D scans/animation and photographs, the project visualizes the journey of Siberian driftwoods that travel from the Yenisey River to Iceland through the Gulag and the Arctic sea. The idea is based on dendrochronological research on driftwoods in Iceland.
Ikuru Kuwajima is a Moscow-based artist born in Japan, educated as a photojournalist in University of Missouri-Columbia, but living and working in Eastern European and Central Asian countries, such as Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, in the past 13 years. His works explore identity, culture, history and social issues primarily in the post-Soviet states through photography and other media. He also attended European contemporary photography workshop Reflexions Masterclass from 2010 to 2013.
He early worked as a photojournalist, and his documentary and journalistic work appeared in various publications including Le Monde, National Geographic, TIME Magazine’s Lightbox, Newsweek Japan, New York Times Lens Blog, Internazionale, Save the Children, Marie Claire, Forbes Magazine, Guardian, Esquire Russia, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, NPR, Wired and Daily Mail. His photographs were also recognized in POYi, COPY and NPPA Best of Photojournalism.
He had several personal photographic and contemporary art exhibitions including “Sentier” (Musée des Arts Asiatiques de Nice, France, 2020), “Repatriatsiya” (Peresvetov Pereulok Art Gallery, Moscow, 2019) and “I, Oblomov” (The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, 2018) and participated in various international exhibitions including Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art (Ekaterinburg, Russia, 2021), Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (Moscow, 2020), Krasnoyarsk Biennale (Krasnoyarsk, Russia, 2019), Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin Contemporary Moving Images (Paris/Berlin, 2018), Boutographies (Montpellier, France, 2017), Fotografia Europia (Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2016), Venice Biennale’s Central Asian Pavilion (Venice, Italy, 2013) and Noorderlicht International Photo Festival (2011). His artist books “Tundra Kids” and “I, Oblomov” were published in Vienna in 2015 and in Moscow in 2017, respectably. Besides he works a Russian/English – Japanese translator and has been involved in various media and art related projects, including production of documentary films, contemporary art exhibitions and journalistic works, as well publication of Russian translation of Japanese literature.