Marfa Vasilieva


Project made in collaboration with Japanese painter Yoshiyasu Tamura​

Takamagahara project It has been 5 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, 30 years since Chernobyl’s.

Because of this commemorative year I decided, together with Marfa Vasilieva, a Ukrainian photographer, to start a new art project.

Ukraine and Japan, while being culturally completely different, share one important experience. The experience in surviving through a nuclear power plant disaster. How should the people who have been forced to leave their homes, faced with continuous health risks, find peace of mind? If there is a connection, it exceeds cultural explanation. Perhaps there exists a universal element that unifies mankind. 

In Japan there is the belief of animism, a belief there are 8 million gods. Prior to Christianity, Ukraine was also polytheistic, and this belief is still present. From ancient times, people have created myths, longing for gods and paradises. It was a mechanism that was necessary for the soul in order to cope with the cruel and hard world. And now, in this day and age this mechanism seems to become more and more important again. However, gods that we discuss here, are not gods who reside in some distant world. In fact, it is possible to find one in each person’s heart. Myths are born from the path of the heart, paradises are the fruits of human hopes, faith is to look at one’s own heart. 

In 2014 Yosh collaborated with McQ Alexander McQueen, where I drew on clothes. Building on that experience, this time I will draw directly on people’s skin. The theme of the illustrations will be the mythology of Ukraine and Japan. Marfa Vasilieva will capture tangible hope on the body’s surface. We will present and share our art collaboration as a photo exhibition. We believe that the heart that longs for paradise, no matter how awful reality is, should never disappear. Which is why we have named our collaboration project after the old myth of Japan: Takamagahara. With this project we would like to show that Japan and Ukraine find each other in similar circumstances, searching for a system of comfort. In order to never give up hope.

TAKAMAGAHARA Project Marfa Vasilieva statement (English) People often doubt themselves, in their ability, but never thinks that life is not eternal, and eternity is in the moment of revelation to himself, in a moment of faith… in a moment of desires and dreams, in a moment where a person makes the first step towards a long road called – The Way of Heart. In a moment of sincere impulse with shining eyes and tender hearts – the truth was born. The crystal of the soul great and powerful, but it needs to be clean and cared.  The strength of the spirit, love and desire created cities, incredible masterpieces, the invention of science, gave birth to geniuses, it also eliminated the terrible tragedies.. Human potential is great and only the spark of Divine in everybody of us was moving mountains and winning wars. 

We are Gods with our own unique set of sparks and magic. Project Tagamahara – Paradise on earth – every man is a God.

高天原プロジェクト マルファ・ヴァシリーヴァ ステイトメント(一つの詩として)   人はいつも、自分自身や、自分の可能性を疑ってしまう 命が永遠ではないことを知らずに   永遠は、自身への啓示と、信仰の瞬間のなかに有る… 欲望と夢の瞬間に、心への道 ーそれへと続く初めの一歩を踏み出す瞬間に。 輝く瞳、優しい心とともに、誠実な衝動の瞬間に ー真実が生まれた。 魂の結晶は、素晴らしくて力強いが、清められ、守られなければならない   魂の力強さ、愛と欲望が都市を、偉大な傑作を、科学の発展を作り上げ、天才と、同時に恐ろしい悲劇も産んだ…  人類の可能性は偉大であり、私達の中にある神の火花だけが、山を動かし、戦いを勝利へと導く   私たちは、私達の中にある、独特な火花と魔法とともに有るとき、神である タカマガハラプロジェクト ーこの地上に有る楽園ー すべての人は神。   (ロシア語から英語への翻訳:Marfa Vasilieva 英語から日本語への翻訳:田村吉康) – Yoshiyasu Tamura

Those are some explanations of Japanese Goddess (female gods)

Kami-musuhi –goddess of “ground” and “re-birth”

Kami-musuhi is the collective name for the first goddess which came into existence at the time of the creation of the universe. She was born in Takamagahara, the world of Heaven at the time of the creation. Unlike the later gods, her deities were born without any procreation.

Izanami —goddess of Japan, and death and jealousy.
She was wife of first god, and they made “Japan” together, but she dead when she gave birth of god of fire (her pussy was burn), and she went to dead land, she became goddess of death.

Kagutsuchi —God(goddess) of fire.
When he was born, his mother Izanami was dead by fire, and she became god of death. so Kagutsuchi’s father killed him, and Kagutsuchi changed to 16 gods, including rain gods and sea gods.

Konohananosakuya-hime —Goddess of flower (especially SAKURA) and volcano.
She was super beautiful, but her life was short.
Old King of Japanese god, Ninigi, grand family of Japanese emperor,
decided to get married with her. that was a reason of human life limited.

Iwanaga-hime —Goddess of rocks and mountain.
She was elder sister of Konohananosakuya-hime.
She had very long-time-life like rocks.
but she was not beautiful, so she could not get married with Ninigi.
She felt ashamed it very much, She run away and hid herself forever.
She cursed human.

Uka-no-Mitama —Goddess of rice and agriculture, fox
She is a deity in classical Japanese mythology, associated with rice and agriculture, sometimes identified with Inari, the deity of rice. Fox is her symbol.

Ogetsu-hime —Goddess of foods and silk.
A deity of grains. At the time great god came from the Plain of High Heaven, he asked for food from this deity, whereupon she produced various foodstuffs from her mouth, nose, and rectum, preparing them and offering them. Incensed that she had presented foods taken out of her body in this way, the god killed her, and various grains and other items then appeared from various parts of her body, including silkworms from her head, rice from her eyes, millet from her ears, red beans from her nose, barley from her genitals, and soybeans from her rectum.

Amaterasu —Goddess of the Sun.

Amateurs is the Sun Goddess, and the most sacred of all Japanese gods.
She had one younger brother, Susanoo, he was a god of storm.
When she got trouble with her brother, she run into cave, so world become dark.
All gods in Japan tried to solve this problem, and one goddess Amenouzume successed to take back her to the earth again

Amenouzume —Goddess of dance and happiness.
Amaterasu’s brother, the storm god Susano’o (須佐之男命), had vandalised her sacred buildings and killed her maidens because she refused to trust him. Amaterasu became so scared of his wrath that she went to hide into a cave. The world, without the light of the sun, became dark. The devils came out to the dark world, and the gods could not make Amaterasu come out of the cave.
The intelligent AmenoUzume took a small boat, turned it upside down near the cave entrance, and began a dance on it, tearing off her clothing in front of the other Gods. They thought this was so funny that they laughed happily.
Amaterasu heard them, and looked out to see why the gods were laughing. When she opened the cave, she saw her wonderful reflection in a mirror Uzume had put on a tree, and slowly came out of the cave.
At that moment, the god Ameno-Tajikarawo (天手力男命) closed the cave behind her, so she could not go back in. Another god tied a magic rope across the entrance. The sun goddess was then asked to go back with the gods. She agreed, and light came back to the earth.

Benzai-ten (Sarasvatī)
She is goddess of music sounds and river. she came to Japan from India with Buddhism.
Her name was Sarasvati in India, and many countries in Asia, Japanese people call her “benzaiten”, she is very familiar for Japanese people. Always she have Asian guitar.
Saraswati who is revered as a goddess of knowledge, music and arts is also found outside Nepal and India, such as in Japan, Vietnam, Bali (Indonesia) and Myanmar.
3 years before I made her in my painting

She looks like a mermaid, beautiful daughter of sea gods.
She is an incarnation of shark or dragon.
In Japanese myth, she felt in love with one man in the ocean, and they became together. but one day the man decided to go back to land, so she went with him, with their child in her body.
She asked her husband to build one small house to gave birth, and she said him to keep a promise that never look her at the moment of birth. Unfortunately her husband spied it, and he was very surprised to know that her identity was shark.
She ashamed it, and she went back to ocean without her husband and her child. the child became ancestor of Japanese emperor family.


Description: Shapeshifting Goddess of Autumn and winds; Weaver of the multicoloured tapestries of autumn; She Who blows Her own beauties to shreds; She Who listens to prayers for good harvests; Matron of sailors and fishermen.
To Whom Sacred: weaving; loom; amulets worn for protection against storms.