In April 2013, Swiss photographers Nico Krebs and Taiyo Onorato, who have worked together for more than 12 years, jumped into an old Land Cruiser and headed east. They had a rough route and stops in mind, with the final destination being Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
It was a real expedition, a departure into the mystical kingdom of the East: Eurasia, Central Asia, the foothills of the Himalayas, the forests of Siberia, the various “Stan” republics, the gigantic breadth of the former Soviet Union. They covered half a continent, a land mass of which only a few images have stuck in our heads.
The countries and regions they visited are undergoing a shift from the Silk Road, post-communism and religious, territorial and ethic turmoil to the pressing desire to become part of global capitalism. This search for identity is palpable and is reflected in the photo album Continental Driftexternal link.
The images also describe a journey along the border between documentation and fiction. The past is as mysterious as the future is unclear. The moments of experiencing strange, new things and of being foreign are a central element of the book. The inaccessible and the occasionally bizarre play out in front of a background of openness and hospitality.
Images: Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs; text: Thomas Kern