20.07.2014

Viaggio! Naoki Ishikawa’s travels in Italy

20.07.2014

Viaggio! Naoki Ishikawa’s travels in Italy

From Venice to Bassano del Grappa, the birthplace of Manfrotto.

Viaggio! Italy 

Viaggio! Italy
Bassano del Grappa, the birthplace of Manfrotto, is situated between Milano, the heart of Italy’s economy and the source of new fashions, and traditional Venice, the “city of water” known for its medieval splendor. Thusly situated, this little city has been influenced by both areas while maintaining its distinct character. Let’s go on a Viaggio (trip) with Naoki Ishikawa, photographer.

Viaggio! Italy 

When I went to Italy last it was a long time ago, so I hardly remember anything from the sightseeing I did there in Rome, etc. Since then I missed the opportunity to visit several times, and I have been looking forward to this trip.

Thus, being somewhat of a novice to Italy, I don’t know my left from my right as I step into the airport. Though I have grown accustomed to the congestion of Asian cities, Europe is a different story. I had heard that they can arrange everything for you from the airport to the hotel, so I requested this. A man decked out in a suit and sunglasses like a 007 agent comes up to me and says “I am here to guide you”. I did what I was told, got into his car and we drove toward Venice.

Viaggio! Italy 

Arriving at the harbour, 007 tells me: “That’s your boat” and disappears. Here again, I do as I am told and get into the ” Shanghai Taxi”. The single-passenger boat stops at a nondescript riverbank, and when I look in the direction the conductor of the boat points, I see my hotel. It is on Judecca island, which is next to the main island. The hotel I check into is smart and stylish. I open the window of my little room and soon I hear music coming through it. Looking down, I find a concert being played. It was at this point that I really get the feeling of having arrived in Venice.

Viaggio! Italy 

Since it is essentially a city floating on water, I spend the next day repeatedly taking boats through the narrow canals, taking photos of the city. The huge number of small vessels floating on the waters reminds me of Dhaka in Bangladesh. The Ganges flows into Dhaka, and its shoreline is also blanketed with steamships and rowing boats. The elegance of Venice, however, contrasts sharply with the chaos of Dhaka, and the boats here are easy to embark and disembark.

Viaggio! Italy 

Viaggio! Italy 

Viaggio! Italy 

A stroll around offers an opportunity to see tradespeople at work from up close in gondola building workshops and blacksmiths’ shops among others. I had good timing so I could also look in on a contemporary art exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

Viaggio! Italy 

Naoki Ishikawa

Naoki Ishikawa

Born in Tokyo in 1977.
Completed a PhD in fine arts at the Tokyo Fine Arts University, Graduate school.
He received the “CORONA” (Seidosha) sponsored 30th Domon Ken Award. Among his main works are “I’m Living Now, the Adventure “ (East Press), “The Last Adventurer”, which won the Kaiko Takeshi non-fiction prize (Shueisha), “Go See the World” (Little More Co.), which compiled the serialized “Hobonichi”.
Prince Takamado Gallery in the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo is holding an exhibition entitled “POLAR” (from July 30). The IMA CONCEPT STORE in Roppongi, Tokyo is tentatively holding the “MAKALU” exhibition from August 20 to October 5.
http://www.straightree.com/

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