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    EXCLUSIVE

    Promised Land.

    Sun-bleached Italian beaches, tourists in pale blue water – Massimo Leardini talks about the summertime crowds of his hometown Cattolica and his love affair with Norway.
    Photography by Massimo Leardini, Interview by Lu JiaYing.

    LJY: What was it like growing up in Cattolica?

    ML: It was GREAT! I have great memory of that, and I really feel those years formed my way of seeing the world, light, and people.

    LJY: I saw some Italian movies in the late 80s like Rimini Rimini, trashing crowded tourists on vacation in Italy. How did you transfer your taste from that into something completely clean and pure?

    ML: I agree – seen from the outside it is a crowed tourist place, but it is made of warm, lovely people as every other place in the world. I always hated the beach in the summer, but love the beach in the winter with no people, only nature.

    LJY: What brought you to Oslo? How does the city inspire you?

    ML: I felt in love with a beautiful girl from Oslo – that was an easy choice. I am inspired by the rawness of the city, I mean not the city centre, but actually the geographic centre of the city, in the middle of the woods, and the rawness of the people – to be more precise: the rawness of the woman in Norway.

    LJY: The last book was called Scandinavian, what's the idea of Scandinavian today?

    ML: The title came out very literally. It is a selection of photographs, nudes, and nature from my years in Norway.

    LJY: Your style is very organic and smooth. What's your photography process? Does it involve a lot of calculations or does it all happen on instinct?

    ML: Not calculation, but a certain idea. And then I leave the rest to my instinct.

    LJY: How did your new book Catarsi come about?

    ML: Catarsi is a trip back home, revisiting the Italian light. I want it to do something different after Scandinavian, and all the pictures I had taken during the last 15 years in Italy in the summer on my trips back home felt right and inspiring to work with.

    LJY: Do you approach the book different than you would approach a temporary gallery exhibition, since the books last forever?

    ML: Of course, a book works in a different way; the photographs on a gallery wall have to work more individually sometimes, so sometimes the book is very different from the exhibition.

    LJY: Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?

    ML: Doing more and more of what I am doing now, and probably I will be a grandfather too, and that’s OK.

    ljiy: what's next project that you're excited about?"

    ML: My previous books have been edited throughout  years of work, my  next project coming out in Tokyo in March is something that i developed this summer, nudity and nature are back in my work, differently from Catarsi, and in a  rawer way.

     

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