Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holga Ukraine in Progress

I've been shooting with Holga often and on. I will shoot more with it next year. The second winter in Ukraine feels a little bit warmer.

Sasha - Dneprodzerzhinsk, April 2009

Lenin Statue - Donetsuk, July 2008

Cossack - Simferopol, Dec. 2009

Village - Crimea, Nov. 2009

Village 2 - Crimea, Nov. 2009

Fish, Herson Oblast, Nov. 2009

Geizer, Herson Oblast, Dec. 2009

Car, Herson Oblast, Nov. 2009

Bonzhu, Dneprodzerzhinsk, Dec. 2008

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

recently published

I finally published the series from Cossack and Drug Issues. A new Romanian photo magazine Punctum published the series of Crimean Cossacks, and a Japanese magazine "journalism" published by Asahi Shinbun published the series of drug addicts. Thanks Hirose-san and Cosmin!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some Town in Armenia

I'm hoping to go back there...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I haven't updated the blog for a while. I went to Armenia, but nothing has been finished. So, I will post some singles in the next few weeks.

Kert, Karabax

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cossack Cadet Camp

Shot Cossack Cadet Camp in the mountains by Yalta.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mihai Barbu Is Alive Somewhere in Russia

Living in Ukraine, I sometimes have unique and nice guests. Mihai, my Romanian friend who invited me to the center of cosmos, Petrila, which is a small Romanian mining town in the edge of Transilvania, where children even fly, stayed at my apartment in central Ukraine. He is heading by motorcycle from Romania to Mongolia and then many other stan countries, Caucasas, Turkey, Balkan to home. He had a hard time parking his BMW in the town, but beside this, he loved Ukraine and the town where I live for now. I just called him. He said he is somewhere in Russia. He had some problems with police, as is often the case, but he is fine. Barbu said Ukraine was "Coscogeamite Blana!!" (the mix of the old Romanian word and new slang, which even a Romanians would have hard time understanding...) I also miss Romania. It was coscogeamite blana (enormously super greate, or something like this), as well.
This is the link to his site for the journey:
I like the URL, as well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


So, I spent a while trekking the mountains and photographing Yagnob people, who have their own unique language and were isolated from the outside world for centuries. Until recently, they didn't have electricity. They live by raising goats, sheeps, cows and some vegetables. There is no doctor now, and some children don't have access to schools, which are usually taught by one teacher at a house. In the winter time, the villages are shut out from the lowland, as the rugged roads are buried in the snow. The long winter could get as cold as minus -30°C to -40°C. I asked them why they keep living here. Many people said they just can't leave home, where their parents, grand parents, grand-grand parents and grand-grand-grand.... lived. Home is the best, basically that's what they said although some people said they actually want to move to Dushanbe or other cities but have to take care of their families. Anyway, they are extremely nice and hospitable people. A lot of older men served for the Army in the Soviet time, so they speak Russian, and actually some of them even served or worked in Ukraine. On the other hand, Yagnobi women there were conservative and very shy while children were curious to see the outsider as always.

More background about Yagnob:

Yagnobi are an ethnic group in Tajikitan. Yagnobi have their own language, and it considerably differs from Tajik language.
They used to live in the lowland around the city of Pendzikent, the northwestern Tajikitan neary the border with Uzbekistan. However, after the invasion of the Arabs to the region around the 7th century, Yagnobi fled to the Yagnob valley surrounded by the mountains. Yagnobi practiced Zoroastrianism but were later converted to Muslim. Until the 20th century, Yagnobi remained in the valley and were isolated from the outside world. However, during the Soviet era, the Soviet government forced all the Yagnobi to the lowland around the early 70's and made them work in the cotton farms. The harsh summer caused a number of deaths among the population, and some of them began to go back to the mountains several years later while many men served for the Soviet Army. The residents said they missed home and couldn't abandon their houses. Currently, around 500 people live in about 35-40 communities along the Yagnob river.