Honorable Mention / 2015 / Fine Art / Abstract

Invisible City

  • Photographer
    Kazuya Urakawa

It [the street] cannot exist in a vacuum; it is inseparable from its environment.... Its viability depends as much on the right kind of architecture as on the right kind of humanity. (Bernard Rudofsky, Street for People: A Primer for Americans, Anchor Press/ Doubleday, 1969, P20)They [locus, meaning 'place' in Latin] trace the relation of architecture to its location -the place of art- and thereby its connections to, and the precise articulation of, the locus itself as a singular artifact determined by its space and time, by its topographical dimensions and its form, by its being the seat of succession of ancient and recent events, by its memory. (Aldo Rossi, Architecture of the City, The MIT Press, 1984, P107)If the theories by Rudofsky and Rossi are true, where is the singularity of city in Tokyo which is suddenly updated as if it breaks off historic context? Even though I faced the situation that many buildings which defined memory of place were dismantled in sequence, I could only continue archiving Tokyo without being able to answer that question.I have come to think that the viewpoints seeing the city can be represented by two types of them while I have continued archiving Tokyo. One is the viewpoints of general people enjoying the city, the other is those of architects and city planners creating the city. While I watched my works of cityscape once, I noticed that invisible cities appeared as a result of interpenetration of those viewpoints that never overlapped each other.Invisible cities inflate the singularity of themselves by bringing about distortions in space, time and architecture while they dismantle physical forms and refuse the search of the place by the viewer. I will continue looking for the alternative singularity of the city in invisible cities and archiving memory of place which may be lost.

I am a photographer and a registered architect in Japan.
I was born in 1972 in Sapporo and resides in Tokyo.
I studied architectural history at the Department of Architecture,
Faculty of Engineering at Osaka City University, upon graduating
in 1996, I have worked as an architect and an urban planner for
about 20 years.
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.