“Reconstruction. Shibuya, 2014-2018” documents the large-scale redevelopment of the Shibuya train station, one of the most iconic (and busiest) areas in Tokyo, in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games. In the last few years, two new skyscrapers have surfaced and the labyrinthine train station itself – home to eight distinct train lines with more than 2.4 million passengers per day – underwent reconstruction as well, while the trains have remained in operation. Satoshi Hirano has captured the redevelopment process in the form of black-and-white construction site photographs whose brilliant framings and pleasant clutteredness almost construct a world of their own.
“Mr Steidl praised my work as ‘similar to German Expressionist films’. Of course he would sense that. As I started taking up photography somewhat late, there aren’t really any photographers who influenced me (though there are many I admire); it was movies that were a big influence on me …
There may never be a vaccine, the Tokyo Olympics may never take place, but I did walk, look, wait, lose 12kg of weight. These views that already no one may remember anymore, that seemed to have existed someday, somewhere – let them live forever.” (from the artist’s statement, translation by shashasha)
Satoshi Hirano’s “Reconstruction. Shibuya, 2014-2018” was one of the winners of the inaugural Steidl Book Award in 2016, held in collaboration with Post bookshop in Tokyo and Takeo Paper Mill.