In November 2014 Charlotte Dumas began photographing the eight native horse breeds of Japan. Once necessary for farming and transportation, most of these indigenous breeds have lost their practical purpose and have declined in number. Mostly confined to small islands, the horses have never been able to migrate, and their future existence is now uncertain. In some cases, these near-mythical animals have become symbolic of their place, like the Yonaguni horse, which — together with the world’s largest moth and the marlin — is depicted on the manhole covers of this remote island. Each breed seems to unlock a history of its location and a story about the people who share its territory. This limited artist book, documenting Dumas’ project to date, portrays horses from the islands of Yonaguni, Miyakojima, Nagano and Hokkaido. Essay by Simone Van Saarloos.
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