Emily Bates

The poetic yet documentary style and content of the work by Emily Bates, explores our complex relationship with the physical landscape.
Large-scale analogue photographs of sacred mountain landscapes and forests shot in remote locations, become a form of portrait, barely breathing. They are both stages and bodies. The inherent spiritual richness and sadness of the landscapes is often exposed, its inner power and its breath.The photographic works evolve during extensive and repeated field trips to small rural communities, and specific geographic locations, including remote Japanese islands, minority farming villages in China, volcanic landscapes in Italy, and Scottish and Swedish isles.
Frequently combined with video and audio recordings of oral histories, rituals or mythologies, the work whispers and reveals our respect and relationship to the land.

It is an artistic reflection on the human condition but may also become a valuable document of fading traditions:
Audio recordings of Naxi antiphonal dialogue courtship songs in China, where the songs becoming virtually extinct as they are sung; Japanese island songs, shima uta, which are becoming the last domain of local island dialects; Japanese ritual song Hirase Mankai; Japanese community announcement tunes; Gaelic love songs in North Uist; and recently the southern Italian tammuriatta, included.

Emily Bates was the Mondriaan Fonds artist in residence, in collaboration with MMCA Seoul, South Korea in 2017.

She is also currently the recipient of an Established Talent subsidy from the Mondriaan Fonds.


Marius van Bouwdijk Bastiaansestraat 145
1054 RV Amsterdam