Gold 2019 / Science / Environment

Places of Amnesia

  • Prizes
    Gold in Science/Environment
  • Company
    None
  • Photographer
    Kazuya Urakawa

In contrast to Tokyo's urban growth that has repeated "scrap-and-build" since the early 20th century, Mukoujima located in the northeastern Tokyo had accumulated the memory of place until recently. However the cityscape in Mukoujima has changed dramatically for a few years, I confirmed over 60 vacant lots where buildings had been demolished from 2017 to 2018. Facing a vacant lot, we can't remember the building that used to stand there. A vacant lot, the turning point of "scrap-and-build", is a state where the ground is revealed, but I could find neither the "genius loci" nor the "locus" there.

I am a photographer and a registered architect in Japan. I was born in 1972 in Sapporo and resides in Tokyo. Concerned by the rapid change in Japanese cities, particularly in Tokyo, I began to photograph Japanese modern architecture and cityscape in 2005. My theme of creation is what documents and visualizes the irreproducibility of the city which is caused by conflict between the continuously changing cityscape and the memory of place being accumulated in the city.