On commission of the city hall of his hometown Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, in 2020 Naoya Hatakeyama photographed the ruins of four buildings in Rikuzentakata that were destroyed during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami: the local Michi-no-Eki roadside station, the Municipal Kesen Junior High School, the Shimojuku Housing Complex, and the Rikuzentakata Youth Hostel.
Though face-to-face with unimaginable rubble, bent metal doors and naked destruction, Hatakeyama captured the exteriors and interiors with solemn objectivity, focusing not only on the damage itself but also on the atmosphere and scenery left behind in these spaces. While the intent behind these photographs was to serve as a document, at times the series appears like an elegy for four buildings that used to house families, communities and local culture.
The city plans to preserve the buildings and open them to the public in the future.
All text included in Japanese and in English.