The article presents the complementarity of different types of cognition in the study of cultural landscape. The authors suppose that the primary formation of artistic and related mythological components of the cultural landscape of Sakhalin had an important impact on the image of the territory, fixing a certain value and meaning structure of the ideas about Sakhalin. As the materials by which the primary image of Sakhalin was formed, the authors examine the work by A. P. Chekhov's "Sakhalin Island", written as a result of the writer's visit to the island in the summer - autumn 1890, as well as a photographic album of I. N. Krasnov's "Types of Sakhalin Island", created at the turn of XIX-XX centuries, the images of which in this work are introduced into scientific circulation for the first time. The authors identified the basic ideas of the artistic image of Sakhalin, designated by A. P. Chekhov and supported by visual expression in the photographs by I. N. Krasnov: Sakhalin as an isolated area, getting on which has the character of a life catastrophe; the "otherness" of Sakhalin, its status as a place of initiation, a change of fate of its "prisoners" living in the border, liminal space; Sakhalin as a "wild country", where there is no transportation, no plans of development; there are no roads, and human settlements are constantly coming harsh nature; Sakhalin is a zone of "social vacuum", where social laws are no longer in force. According to the authors, changing the image of Sakhalin formed by artistic means requires not only strengthening of the scientific-rational component, but also the mandatory formation of alternative visual representations.
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