Giada Ripa: The Yokohama Project

14 October - 25 November 2017 Paris

At first, the Yokohama project was the story of Giada Ripa’s family and her ancestress Mathilde Ruinart de Brimont. The starting point is a photo album, composed of ancient photographies outstanding past 150 years, recovered by the artist Giada Ripa in her house in  Piemont, Italy. Views, historical notes and autochthonous types of Japan, 1868, composed of 53 impressions hand-coloured, which representing portraits and views of the city of Yokohama, Japan and its surroundings. Its author is Felice Beato, « visual narrato » of the japanese society during 1860. He is from Venice and decided to settle in Japan when western visitors were received, whereas Shogun (general ledger peacemaker of savages) has forbidden the access to the foreigns who were out of diplomatic missions.   During 50 years, since the first of the 20th century, photos of Felice Beato are constituted in Occident, one of the principal source of collective imagery  of the asiatic society and were used as illustrations into many publications, travel books or newspapers. Meanwhile, Mathilde Ruinart de Brimont, artist and friend of Felice Beato, muse of many intellectuals, left to orient in 867 with  her diplomat husband. She provided a rich and thriving description through two manuscripts «  Travel notebooks » and « Trip to Japan ». Building on her first further exploration, Giada Ripa decided to follow the marks of her ancestor and Felice Beato. She flies away Japan with the envy to understand the country through her aim, 150 years later.   From this trip born the exhibition « The Yokohama Project 1867 – 2017 », structured in two chapters that crossing her contemporain work of photographer with a double approach of archives and anthropology. Through her westerner photographic eye  she looking for establishing a link between pictures of Felice Beato from the 1860’s and the figure of her ancestress. With their respectives  attempts , she identifies the local and contemporain analogies to bring the reflexion on the transformations of the society and the land of Yokohama and its surrounding. For a constant round trip between past and present, Giada Ripa crosses, cuts up and collects the western representations of the japan of yesteryear which  can exist again  today   The Yokohama project is supported by Ruinart.