36 views of mount Hoverla

2017 – 2022

Mountain Hoverla is the highest point of Ukraine, by analogy to the sacred Mount Fuji in Japan and Japanese, is almost sacred and mythical aura to Ukrainians. Besides these two mountains outwardly similar and have almost perfect conical shape.
With these photographs I want to fill the gap that remained unfilled in visual art in Ukraine and with coloring I want appeal to series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” by Katsushika Hokusai and his metaphysical and authentic relationship to Fuji.
Also I want to bring shape of mountain Hoverla to ukrainian’s perception as a sacred place, which currently is a tourist attraction. It is very easy to get to the top of Hoverla from several routes and on the way to it a person should immerse himself in the local traditions of highlanders of the Transcarpathian region.

Mount Fuji reflects in Lake Kawaguchi, seen from the Misaka Pass in Kai Province, Katsushika Hokusai, 1831

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I have been filming in that area for several years. I am filming how people live, what they do, how they work, in addition, I film directly the mountains and nature. With all this photos I want to engrave in history this time, such a slice of the environment in which they live there, the circumstances, the inherent things and ordinary life. But on the other hand, I want these photos to become such a work “out of time”, which would remain relevant over the years by such a old technic of hand coloring black&white photographs.

I dreamed and imagined a lot even before I started shooting: what should be filmed, what plots, some traditional elements, but the first time I got to those places I was forced to change my mind and rethink everything. I had to film reality, document what was available because otherwise it wouldn’t be honest, it wouldn’t be honest represent my stereotypes and fictions as reality. From other hand it would not be fair not to film, for example, a shepherd in rubber boots and a raincoat, but to put a model in a traditional Ukrainian outfit and visually assert that this is how all shepherds looks like.
Therefore, this photo series is largely documentary, a slice of time. I would like to cover all of Ukraine with this photo series, but unfortunately, Mount Hoverla (which is a connecting visual and semantic symbol) can be seen only in the Carpathians, and therefore it cannot serve as a identifying symbol for all of Ukraine as Fuji for Japan.

This is a hand printed black and white photos hand coloured by me with oil paints.

Names of photo:

  1. Hoverla reflecting in drinking bowl on Kukul mountain meadow
  2. Fire salamander runs away from the stone
  3. Tourist leaving the chapel on Mount Pertos
  4. Moving at the Lazeshchyna village
  5. Wood sawing
  6. Faster and faster crawl snail on the slope of Hoverla away from all worries
  7. Hoverla hidden in a cloud
  8. Woman at her husband’s grave
  9. Andriyko went for a play outside
  10. Children rides the hill
  11. Kukul mountain meadow
  12. Woman rides with Rakhiv train
  13. One hundred days of pasturing on the Gropa mountain meadow
  14. Girls sing carrols for Christmas eve
  15. Hoverla under the clouds
  16. People stand under the church on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
  17. A man from a Christmas carol band stands with trembita
  18. I came to present a photo and I was invited to visit
  19. Morning fog in the valley
  20. Electric train to Frankivsk
  21. There will be a new house for son on Yablunytsia Pass
  22. They are repairing a dray to bring hay in the village of Chorna Tysa
  23. Landscape view on Hoverla from Dragobrat ski resort
  24. Free wind, throw away the troubles!
  25. Sunny day on Chorna Tysa river
  26. At the wicket, neighborly
  27. That year the snow fell late on the hills
  28. Horses
  29. Weekend in Zimir tract
  30. Fog in the hamlet of Zavoel
  31. Shadow of Hoverla on Petros
  32. Top of Hoverla
  33. Either to drink or to work…
  34. Square in front of the shop in the center of the village
  35. Hoverla’s reflection in the piyala of author of these photographs
  36. They spur the cattle from pasture to milk