Friday, 13 April 2012

Ghost Town

Tokyo Nobody
Masataka Nakano
Little More Books (2000)

The premise behind this beautiful book is very simple; over the space of a few years, photographer Masataka Nakano took pictures of the streets of Tokyo without any people (or cars) in them.  Given that Tokyo is one of the world’s most populous cities, this is an impressive feat, and the results are strangely haunting and melancholy. As with the opening scenes of Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (by far the best part of the movie), there is something extremely resonant about the sight of a deserted city, especially when (as here) the signs of humankind are everywhere; not just the buildings but the posters, graffiti and even the litter gathered in the abandoned corners.

In the end, though, like any monument; Stonehenge, the pyramids or even the war memorial in almost every small town in Britain, Tokyo Nobody is, perhaps predictably, all about people.

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