“The total mightiness of this organism is what I want to resemble with my pictures. To achieve this I climbed countless fire escapes in Tokyo and tried to capture the complete force of nature. The photos are not about single buildings, they are about the completeness of the urban jungle. All elements have the same importance, and the further you look into the image, the more windows can be seen per square centimetre.
The pictures were shot mainly in twilight. The magic hour, where the houses are shining as bright as the residual daylight in the sky and the colourful neon signs melt with the green-blue of the beginning night. For me this is the most beautiful colour theme a city can offer.” - Thomas Birke
Illustrations of Tokyo
Tokyo-born Tatsuro Kiuchi created these poignant illustrations for part of a graphic novel called “Downtown Rocket by Jun Ikeido. The film noir framing combined with hand hewn lines and textures are compelling. The emptiness in the images captures the feeling of walking alone late at night on a city street.
Daido Moriyama portrait of Tokyo at LACMA
Photographer Daido Moriyama (Japan, b. 1938) first came to prominence in the mid-1960s with his gritty depictions of Japanese urban life. His highly innovative and intensely personal photographic approach often incorporates high contrast, graininess, and tilted vantages to convey the fragmentary nature of modern realities. Fracture: Daido Moriyama presents a range of the artist’s black-and-white photographs, exemplifying the radical aesthetic of are, bure, boke (grainy, blurry, out-of-focus), as well as the debut of recent colour work taken in Tokyo. A selection of his photo books—Moriyama has published more than forty to date—highlights the artist’s experiments with reproduction media and the transformative possibilities of the printed page. Moriyama’s achievements convey the artist’s boldly intuitive exploration of urban mystery, memory, and photographic invention.
Born in Ikeda, Osaka, Daido Moriyama first trained in graphic design before taking up photography with Takeji Iwaniya, a professional photographer of architecture and crafts. Moving to Tokyo in 1961, he assisted photographer Eikoh Hosoe for three years and became familiar with the trenchant social critiques produced by photographer Shomei Tomatsu. He also drew inspiration from William Klein’s confrontational photographs of New York, Andy Warhol’s silkscreened multiples of newspaper images, and the writings of Jack Kerouac and Yukio Mishima.
Check out this cool portrait of a city, Tokyo. Alex Lee made the short film using Twixtor, a technology that allows filmmakers to intelligently slow down or speed up motion with minimal distortion. Twixtor creates entirely new frames by warping and interpolating frames from the original sequence.
Filmmaker Mikey Pease made a short of the sun setting on Tokyo set to the bouncy soundtrack of the shop downstairs. This short film is a mini moving snapshot of the city coming to life, as the work day ends.
Pease won a BAFTA in 2011 for his short film “The Eagleman Stag”, an inventive stop motion animation made entirely from the foam found in chair seats.
Akihisa Hirata has teamed up with Oak Structural Design Office to build the Bloomberg Pavilion, which will become a platform for ten different exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. The design is based on a mathematical concept formulated by Kazushi Ahara, who describes the shape as a ‘hyplane’; a geometric system consisting of identical non-equilateral triangles.