Yura Matiyun is a 37-year-photographer from Minsk, Belarus, but currently living and working in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He’s been taking photos for 10 years now and his main goal is to use his photography as a tool for exploring the reality of human existence. Besides photography, Yura also works in advertising and sociology.
How did the idea for the series come about?
Aisha wrote me one day and asked if I could take portraits of her. She told me she has a giant tattoo of a moth on her body. I was really astonished by Aisha’s beauty and her inner light, so I proposed her to make a story about youth, innocence and tenderness. Her unusual tattoo and a dying evening light became a great background for it.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
As a man, I adore the female body and I love to portray its delicacy and sexuality, but as a photographer, I try to depict the body as a landscape, as an unknown land ready to be discovered not only in the physical sense, but mostly in the existential way in all its complicated nature. This transmutation of fleetness of human being with its short period of bloom into something eternal and universal mesmerises me. So the most powerful way to depict the female body is to show how human nature reveals itself in every mortal, but unique body.
How would you define beauty and what inspires you?
The world in its variety and versatility always inspires me. Photography is the best tool to find something important in the fast flow of the everyday life. Good photography reveals a story behind the still image, so beauty for me is a revelation not in a religious way, but rather in a perceptive way. When you see beauty it strikes you, slightly changes you and stays with you forever.
Film or digital?
I prefer film due to the limited quantity of frames, it disciplines and forces me to think every time before I press the shutter button.
What makes you happy and what’s next for you?
Photography, music, books, sport, new experience and love. I have plans to make a little book about Almaty, the beautiful city I live and work in. It will be awesome, I’m sure!