In the fall of 2017, I spent 3 weeks in Japan. I found it remarkable on so many levels; the vertical density of Tokyo, the sense of formalism and restraint in people’s behaviour, the silly musical soundtracks that come on when the traffic lights change or subway doors open. As a photographer, I was exhilarated by the variety and scale of the architecture. There’s a complexity in the overlapping surfaces and cacophony of signage but there’s also minimalist order in the squares of the Brutalist buildings.
On one level, my images are architectural excerpts, studies of the built environment, but at the same time, they are street photographs, split second records of the passing scene. What I look for is those moments when a person, who is immersed in their ordinary life, also appears to be at home in the space of the city. In Japan, where men still wear black suits to work and women carry umbrellas to protect themselves from sunlight, there is an extraordinary sense of propriety and purpose to life on the street. My images are an effort to capture that alignment between the shape of architecture and the activity of public life.