Tomoaki Makino Solo Exhibition
“Hauling the City”
KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY
2-7-5-5F, Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031
Saturday, April 24th, 2021 - Saturday, June 5th, 2021
* Gallery is temporarily closed from April 25, 2021 (until the state of emergency is lifted).
* The exhibition schedule is subject to change.
Wednesdays through Fridays, 13:00-20:00 | Saturdays, 12:00-19:00
(closed on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and National Holidays)
*Gallery Operations during the State of Emergency
updated: Apr 24, 6pm (JST/UCT+9)
In response to the request by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government towards exhibition facilities under 1,000 sqm to hold no-spectator events only, this exhibition is available for online viewing only during the State of Emergency [from April 25th until the declaration is lifted] declared by the Japanese Government.
A special Online 3D Walk-through Platform is currently in preparation with ARCHI HATCH.
Please look forward to the intriguing outcome to be released very soon!!!
Kameido 35° 42' 18.528" N 139° 49' 22.248" E
2020 | archival pigment print | 460 × 690 mm | ©︎ Tomoaki Makino, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY
KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY is pleased to present Tomoaki Makino’s solo exhibition “Hauling the City” from Saturday, April 24th, 2021.
Tomoaki Makino (b. 1980) is a photographer who currently lives and works in Tokyo. In his photobook Tokyo Soap Opera (2005, FOIL), which was nominated for the 31st Kimura Ihei Award, Makino photographed middle-aged women in their own living spaces based on his curiosity towards the “unique worldview of the mothers’ generation” in which he cultivated growing up in a mother and child household. After completing the series in Tokyo and its suburbs, Makino expanded the series by shooting worldwide, including New York and Taiwan.
This new body of work, Hauling the City, is a series of black-and-white photographs of landscapes woven by utility poles and wires in the 23 wards of Tokyo. Makino shows that Tokyo, which boasts one of the lowest undergrounding utility poles among developed countries globally, has such a chaotic landscape just by looking up. At first glance, the chaotic images are full of humor and entertainment, yet, the urban landscape with straight and curved lines sprawling in the air reflect social conditions and voice their melancholy inscape.
This exhibition will be the first occasion to showcase Makino’s works as a solo exhibition in our gallery. We look forward to presenting the new frontier of Makino’s consistent gaze, where a sociological perspective is found inherent in intriguing scenes of humor.
Hauling the City
I photographed the cityscapes of Tokyo with their utility poles and wires along with their GPS logs.
Walking through the streets of Tokyo and looking up, you’d find a strange shaped sad-looking monster that holds round bucket-like transformers with countless high-voltage lines, low-voltage electric lines, and communication lines intersecting. Electricity, which is essential to people’s lives, reaches everyone through these monsters.
The landscape created by poles and wires has interested me for a while. No matter how beautiful a building is, the poles would immediately destroy them by coming into sight. In Japan, there is no way to escape this curse of utility poles and wires, and they have been a remarkably inefficient part of urban development.
As of 2021, the percentage of Tokyo’s 23 wards without utility poles is about 8%. The United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, and other cities have replaced more than 90% of poles, and in the United Kingdom, power lines have been underground from the beginning. 8% is by far the slowest rate. When Japan rebuilt itself after being burned to the ground in the war, they chose to use inexpensive overhead power lines for financial reasons, and it has been 75 years since then. If we work at the pace of 440 kilometers per year, which is the fifth phase of the undergrounding plan, it will take 2,700 years to underground the 1.2 million kilometers of roads in Japan, according to a simple calculation.
Will the landscape of utility poles and wires disappear first, or will they be protected as an industrial heritage?
I wonder if I will be able to see either of them in my lifetime.
Either way, I hope these photographs would serve as a memoir of the city at this point.
Tomoaki Makino was born in 1980 in Saitama, Japan. He currently lives and works in Tokyo.
He received a B.A. at Tokyo Polytechnic University, Department of Photography. His monograph, Tokyo Soap Opera (2005, FOIL), was nominated as the 31st Kimura Ihei Photography Award’s finalist in 2005. Makino has presented several solo exhibitions and monographs with his series Tokyo Soap Opera, Daydream, and Theater, capturing middle-aged women staging within their homes in Tokyo, New York, and Taiwan. Recent exhibitions include My Body, Your Body, Their Body (2019, KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY).