About the Artist
Anatoliy Anshin (Anton) is a fine art photographer who has been fascinated with the Japanese culture since his youth. He studied it academically, first in Russia, where he was born and spent the first half of his life, and later in Japan where he has lived permanently for 18 years. He earned his Ph.D. in pre-modern Japanese history and published a number of academic articles and a monograph in the field. He also became a teacher of Japanese swordsmanship, Kendo.
Decades-long research and training have put Anton deeply in touch with the vast spiritual heritage that evolved both in Japan and other Asian countries in a span of over 2,000 years. This ancient culture was concerned mainly with the pursuit of the ideal state and balance of the body and mind, as well as a more fundamental theme of our connection with Nature and our place in the infinite Universe. All this has been largely forgotten with the advent of modern civilization. However, it has never been more necessary than now in the world where technology has come to dominate everything. Recognizing that truth is what inspires Anton’s photography.
Anton considers his photography within the broader area of visual arts and one of his primary goals is to positively influence human hearts through artistic beauty. His motto is “no beauty – no art.” Anton’s main photography sites are old Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines where he can wander around for days in search of the picturesque blend of traditional culture with the natural environment of perfectly maintained Japanese gardens.
However, Anton’s photography is not just about creating beautiful images of Japan’s historical objects or Nature. It is aimed at visualizing and reconnecting with the spirituality of ancient cultures that, although often lacking in our daily lives, are still accessible if we keep our hearts and minds open. The camera has become an indispensable part of himself, a tool that he uses for sharing with the others what he has absorbed with his body and soul during the years of his first-hand experience.
Being a one-shot photographer, Anton does his best to avoid excessive post-production of digital photos. When he sets out on a photography trip, he determines only a general destination, such as for example “Hasedera temple of Kamakura,” or “Enoshima island,” but it is his rule not to decide in advance when, what, and how he will be shooting. There is always something unexpected awaiting him there. Every trip is a real adventure. None of his photos are staged and each piece is a work of art that was created intuitively right on the spot.
- Solo exhibition “Self-Purification” at the Minato Mirai Gallery
Yokohama, Japan., 2021
- Solo exhibition “Open the Treasury Yourself” at the Amane Gallery
Yokohama, Japan., 2021
- Visual Art Open 2020 Finalist. Group exhibition “Deepbridge Chester Arts Fair – Curated Collection” (in 2020 online only).
Chester, UK., 2020
- Group exhibition “Landscapes” at the Blank Wall Gallery (postponed due to COVID-19 lockdown).
Athens, Greece , 2020
- Permanent solo exhibition at AMAKADO Art Gallery
Moscow, Russia., 2020
- Group exhibition at Yokohama International School (in 2020 online only).
Yokohama, Japan., 2020
- Solo exhibition “Insight” at the Fuji Photo Gallery Ginza
Tokyo, Japan., 2020
- Fusion Art’s annual group exhibition at Artize Gallery
Palm Springs, California, USA., 2020
Press and Accolades
- Photos published in Art & Literature Journal Art Ascent, Volume 42 “Grey,” pages 28-31 (Canada).
- Photo published in Burningword Literary Journal, issue 95, p. 24 (USA).
- Photos and interview published in Art Reveal Magazine, issue 54, pp. 18-23 (Germany).
- Article published in municipal newspaper Town News, issue 2021-01-07 (Yokohama, Japan).
- The University of New South Wales, ADFA, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of History, Ph.D. in pre-modern Japanese History
- Chiba University, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Department of Japanese Culture Studies, M.A. in Japanese Culture Studies
- Moscow State University, the Institute of Asian and African Studies, B.A. in Asian Studies