Fiona Tan

Pekan Baru Indonesia 1966, lives and works in Amsterdam

video-installation and photography
dimensions variable

Fiona Tan has created Ascent through a montage of over 4000 found still images of Mt. Fuji from the past 150 years. Ascent unfolds as a contemplative visual essay. The work is at once a rumination on this singular mountain and its ongoing relationship with human beings, a study of visual culture, and a tribute to both photographic and film history. The resulting work considers the intertwinement of visibility and invisibility, distance and proximity, and the physical and the ephemeral.

As Tan herself says: "These thousands of images encircle the mountain like a cloud – revealing it and hiding it at the same time." Fictional narrative combines with documentary images, expanding the boundaries that divide stillness from movement, and pinpointing a unique area where photography and film meet and connect. Echoing the climb to the mountain’s peak, the narrative zigzags across narratives and histories, from ukiyo-e to the Second World War, from Western imperialism to contemporary tourism, from the dawn of photography to the present day.