“Please close gently and softly” – this line refers to photographer Kisara Okada’s wish for Tokyo to come out on the other side of the Olympic Games as a stronger and more optimistic city. Taken from 2018 until the Summer of 2019, Okada captured a Tokyo abuzz with energy and excitement, but also somewhat running out of steam. “Still, the countdown does not stop”, as she writes in her foreword.
In her photographs, Okada demonstrates an almost magical, seemingly effortless instinct for the “decisive moment” in which life unfolds just the right way in front of Okada’s lens to create perfectly framed (often humorous) scenes in her photographs. “©TOKYO Please close gently and softly” opens with a simple shot of a cat’s head staring at Okada’s camera, its body hidden by a staircase, but continues with much more complex scenes and situations. While each image is able to stand on its own and tell a short tale, the photographs add up to a greater picture. These photos could not be taken anywhere else but Tokyo, as it reluctantly embraces its excitement for the upcoming Olympic Games.