When I returned to my native city of Tomsk after a twelve-year separation, I was full of energy and new positive emotions. When I returned seven years ago, I had other options for finding a new life. I could have gone to other cities and countries, but nevertheless I chose Tomsk—maybe because of some special spiritual connection with the Siberian city, or because of a certain magical atmosphere coursing through the place. After regular trips away, I always come back here with great pleasure.

I take special delight in walking with the camera along these quiet streets. A great bonus to being a street photographer is that Tomsk is a place of contrasts, and these contrasts always surprise me a lot.

Here, on one street, you can meet a marginal alcoholic beggar, an elegantly dressed professor from one of the universities, and a representative of one of the youth subcultures with acid hair color. Here, you can shoot on historic streets consisting of beautiful restored stone mansions, but in just a few dozens of meters, you enter another world—the world that excited me and charmed the photographer within me. This realm seems to have abandoned its past, and is not yet conscious of what awaits in its near future. This is a domain of fanciful and vulnerable lines that can arouse many different emotions, ranging from the most pleasant ones to absolute disgust. Yet Tomsk is a sincere world as well. Here, like nowhere else, you feel the pulse of a changing city, and the disappearance of the wooden Tomsk.

Tomsk’s unique aesthetic and the incredible number of rich subjects and moments brings me to one eternal theme: the relationship between city and human being—their interpenetration and interdependence—which unite this space with the entire symphony of life.

—Sergey Medvedchikov

Editor’s Note: We discovered Sergey Medvedchikovs colorful series Hidden in Siberia through via the 2019 LensCulture Street Photography Awards, where he was selected as a winner. Check out the work of the other finalists, winners and juror’s picks here.