Norilsk masters of color
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Norilsk masters of color

October 30, 2020

Norilsk photographers were the first in the Soviet Union to join the clan of color masters.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Through the eyes of Chin-Mo-Tsai, the colored North was first seen by readers of the most popular magazines: Soviet Union, Ogonyok, Soviet Photo and others.

In the 1970s, the head of the Norilsk Combine’s photo information bureau was a participant and winner of many all-Union and foreign competitions. The first exhibition of Vladimir Chin-Mo-Tsai’s works in Moscow (together with Yury Ishchenko) was held at the Central House of Journalists (Domzhur) of the USSR in October 1973. By that time, he had already been a resident of Norilsk for 24 years, had been engaged in photography for ten years and received the status of a press photographer for the Novosti Press Agency. A metallurgist from the Copper plant organized two photo clubs in the northern city: one – in his native plant, the second – in the Palace of Culture of the combine. In 1970, photographers from the Norilsk combine were filming on high-quality imported color film, which was supplied to them by the supply service located next to the photo information bureau.

At the exhibition in Domzhur, Chin-Mo-Tsai exhibited the Dawn over Taimyr, Geologists, Dudinka Port, Fiery Profession series with the famous portrait of a copper smelter, awarded with more than one award.

Both in Norilsk and Krasnoyarsk, where the photo artist moved in the late 1970s, he made many portraits of famous people. Among the most successful are Vladimir Dolgih, Dmitry Hvorostovsky, Nikita Mikhalkov.

A story of its own is the Taimyr tundra, which Vladimir always saw from his own point of view, from his own perspective.

The photographer passed away on September 22, 2012, he was 80 years old.

Read other materials of our photo project in the History spot section.

Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

October 30, 2020

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