Archive

This series of photographs that I took during the winter of 1992 is the work that can be regarded as my starting point as a photographer. In those days, I was very particular about pursuing flatness in photography, and my aim was to take photographs that would prevent the viewer’s eyes from penetrating into the depths of the scene as if their eyesight would stop at the surface of paper. At the beginning, I photographed the cityscapes planarly with a telephoto lens so that they would lose their sense of distance or perspective. However, in the end, I settled on a simple way of photographing flat surfaces planarly just as they are...

My work up to this point has mainly featured eastern Tokyo, yet for my latest project I’ve switched focus to the city’s center. Including such central locations as the Imperial Palace (formerly the site of Edo Castle) adds a historical layer to the previous series, Tokyo Twilight Zone, which had focused primarily on the eastern part of Tokyo where I was born and raised. In the title, The Origin of Tokyo, the word “origin” refers to both the geographical place where Edo Castle was built (when present-day Tokyo was still called Edo), and to the geological features of the land that the city was established upon...

Just at the time my interest was piqued by rumors that a new Tokyo Tower was going to be built in Oshiage, I received a request from a company to take background photographs for a conceptual drawing of the Tokyo Sky Tree. I photographed scenery in the Asakusa area, which would have a good view of the tower in the future. As I heard people talk about it, I became increasingly interested. I was born in the eastern part of Tokyo and it has been the subject of my photographs, so when I realized that a big change was going to take place there, I decided to make a photographic record of it...

I photograph Tokyo from fire escapes .The view from a fire escape is different from either the kind of view afforded by observation decks constructed at sightseeing spots or the vertical perspective of satellite images that are readily available to anyone with a computer .It's a very personal perspective that I obtain only at the expense of a good deal of physical exercise walking all over town to find just the right place .From heights around the 10th floor -certainly not low but not very high either-it's more like looking out horizontally to confront the city, rather than looking down on it...

These shots were taken in the streets of Tokyo and Osaka at night from 1997 to 1999, and in them I have avoided the more aesthetically pleasing locations such as seaside areas and the well-known "subcenters" in favor of the everyday disorder of the streets. Take a brightly-lit busy street bustling with people and remove the people: the purpose of the lighting is lost and only the glow remains - providing a glimpse of the streets we know well from a less familiar perspective...