Vacant Land 1989

Vacant Land 1989

Noboru HAMA

Publisher: photographers’ gallery

"During the mid 1980s, I was an ardent visitor of the second-hand bookstore neighbrhood in Kanda. One day, I happened to walk through a back alley and kept coming across vacant lots - here, and again there. It was as if someone were taking bites, getting ready to devour the town. Sign boards announcing changes of address or business closings stood sporadically, as if themselves hesitating to leave a familiar neighborhood. Dwellings where people had lived, homes where the everyday had taken place were being manhandled and snatched away. Houses and buildings were dismantled and turned into rubble. And there remained the 'vacant lot'. This, too, was one of the faces of the bubble economy...I pointed my camera at every plot of land absent of a solid building. Beginning in the autumn of 1988, I continued this way for about three years.

Old houses were torn down, people moved, the city transformed anew on a daily basis. Yet the empoty lots left behind remained vacant for several years, announcing the end of the money-game party. Bad debts, layoffs, financial crises, bankruptcy and mergers, cut-throat extortion, suicides, a 'lost generation' jackal creditors...During these years, close friends passed away, and many others disappeared. I've remained here simple becaue my father died only after the deranged years were over. I'm still around, but it's just by chance. Having been through the bubble and its burst, I now bring this book into the world. 953 photographs remain here, and not one can be excluded."

  • Excerpt from Hama Noburo's afterword titled Speculating on What Remains 2007 published in Vacant Land 1989
Book Size
247 x 291 x 70 mm
Pages
1012 pages, 953images
Binding
Hard-cover/ Slipecase
Publication Date
2007
Limited Edition
500

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