American Artist Captured Stunning Monochromatic Photos Of Tokyo Cityscapes At Night
Austin is a designer, engineer and multimedia artist based in SF, California. He recently finished a series that he developed across a few trips to Tokyo in 2017-2018, where he spent his nights examining the city from above.
“My strongest memory from the first time I stepped into Tokyo was the feeling of being struck by the sheer scale and density of the place. That feeling never left me, and I became fascinated with understanding it. I visited time and time again to immerse myself in the intricate balance between order and chaos that felt so unique to the place,” he wrote.
“It’s difficult to really understand a place that’s so immersive with so many layers. I realized that to even attempt to understand a place like Tokyo, I needed to explore its fringes – experiences far removed from the tourist circuit. This sparked a long series of explorations of the city: of its back alleys, its far reaches, and its curiosities. It wasn’t until my seventh of eighth time back, when my explorations led me upwards, that I found some of what I had been looking for. On the rooftops of Tokyo I witnessed a canopy unfold like no city I’d ever visited — an infinite three-dimensional landscape that resembled more closely a rainforest than anything remotely human.”
“‘ukiyo vertigo’ is a result of these explorations. Ukiyo refers to the ‘floating world’ era of Japanese thought, and the Ukiyo-e art style that accompanied it. The illusory, removed, and profoundly temporary nature of the transitory world that it examined resonated with me in those long, endless nights above the city.”