Double the explosion, double the devotion?
My favourite bit of street art in Tokyo is this, although not for the actual work itself, but for the photograph I managed to take of it almost a year ago. The juxtaposition of the peculiar face and the passing old lady worked particularly well for me. Plus, to make it even more special, there’ll never be any future opportunities as it has since been painted over.
The artwork below, on the other hand, I genuinely like due to its incredibly striking nature. However, situated in a quiet side street, I always struggled to photograph someone alongside it. Well, at least someone interesting anyway, or failing that, any kind of interaction with the scowling face, or indeed the camera.
Until now that is, as happily my rather limited patience has finally paid off, meaning I don’t have to take that particular detour each and every time I’m in the area, although more than likely I probably still will.
For years now I’ve been semi-regularly passing by, and invariably through, Shinjuku’s famous Omoide Yokocho, or Piss Alley as it’s also known. Most of the time there’s nobody of interest to photograph, but now and again a scene or someone in particular stands out and I attempt to get a shot. Efforts that have resulted in a growing number of images, and these monochrome suited ones make up a small series of sorts — one that hopefully captures some of the alley’s atmosphere and character. Or perhaps more accurately, former atmosphere and character, as the huge increase in visitors to Japan over the last few years has understandably changed the area somewhat.
Now, whether that change has been good or bad is debatable. Yes, it’s not quite like it was, but at the same time it could also be argued that the drinking spot’s renewed popularity has allowed it to survive in a city that demolishes and rebuilds both regularly, and unemotionally. It should also be noted that some of the photos have been taken fairly recently, so in many ways it’s still the same, it’s just different that’s all.
Should you wish to see more photos of Japanese bars (and drinkers), these and many of others can be seen on my portfolio site, here.