Controversies about water: 水 (Shuǐ), Voda, みず(Mizu)

I’ve been fascinated by water since long time. As other elements, I think it is able to tell a place.

Some years ago, I focused on the colorful water in China. In this case the images want to reflect on the meaning of water in connection with the serious pollution problem.
With this work I wanted to shed some light on the situation of the Blue River (or Yangtze) that crosses the city of Nanjing, China. The Blue River is the longest river in Asia and has always played a very important role for the Nanjing economy, but it is now incredibly polluted.
These photos were made from a touristic boat which sails on the polluted waters of the Blue River. Colored lights hide the true dark color of the river.

I called this section of the project 水 (Shuǐ), which means “water” in Chinese.


Connected to Shuǐ work, I developed another observation of the water element in Croatia. In strong contrast with the previous work, this is focused instead on the water and nature preservation of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, listed in the UNESCO sites since 1979. Inaugurated in 1949, Plitvice was the first Croatian National Park. Notwithstanding the harmony which these waters show, in 1991 Plitvice was one of the most disputed places during the serbian-croatian war. The battle which in some way started the Croatian War of Independence, was held in Plitvice; that day is remembered as Plitvice Bloody Easter.

Plitvice is a very popular touristic attraction with 1 million of visitors recorded per year.

I called this section of the project Voda, which means “water” in Croatian.


In a similar way to the previous one, I observed and I was acknowledged by the element of water in Tokyo. As in several religions, in Shintoism water is at the base of the purification rituals. In addition to that, there are several water deities representing the water element; one of these is Suijin (水神 water god) who is a benevolent divinity.

I took the following pictures at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. This shrine, since its foundation in 1869 by the Emperor Meiji, was devoted to those who died serving Japan. This dedication gives a very controversial meaning to this place. Indeed, out of 2,466,532 persons listed, who lost their life, there are 1,068 war criminals. The discussion is still alive.

Also for these pictures, I choose the Japanese name for water to represent them: みず(Mizu).


Feel free to contact me for any further information about the pictures!

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

― Lao Tzu



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