Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tokyo's Shiny Catacombs

Via Paul Williams at the JGB list, the amazing underground photography of Joe Nishizawa.

An enormous underground tunnel that runs through 40metres under the Hibiya Junction Tokyo or an underground dome that lies 500metres below deep in the mountains of Gunma…? In Japan unimaginably large spaces underneath our ground level lives exist. Even beyond the high walls of nuclear power stations, incineration plants or energy research organizations futuristic cities that we thought only to exist in science fiction movies unfold - not far from your neighbourhood. I talked to Joe Nishizawa who photographed such hyper-surreal dimensions in Japan and just published a book Deep Inside.

Written by Kaori Nishida
All images © JOE NISHIZAWA

Nishizawa-san, flipping through the pages of your book “Deep Inside” one gets sucked into this technical-magic-wonderland. I can’t believe that those places actually look like that - better than any CG setting I have ever seen. Bladerunner would simply be jealous! Even the lighting is perfect in pink and green!

Oh no, absolutely no computer graphics involved in these photos. That’s essentially what those places look like - for example one right below Hibiya Junction.

Lightings and everything is just captured as it was there - I didn’t even use a flash light! It’s magic: you first hear the car noises on the ground level and as you descend slowly, suddenly, this vast and silent space unfolds in front of you.

For the full treatment, Nishizawa's book Deep Inside is available at Amazon Japan.

For an American analogue, check out Taryn Simon's amazing An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar.

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