Yasuyuki Takagi

Bohemian Gardens in Tokyo
The words Nature and Tokyo seem antithetical. One of the largest cities in the world gives us the image of concrete jungle. Yet nature is present, but on a different scale. Tokyo is about 5sqm of park space for each citizen. New York has about 25 sqm. But nature is not found in place you usually look for (such as parks). In Tokyo, nature intrudes in interstice.

Piecemeal fragments of nature crumble alongside narrow alleys (small private gardens, potted plants and trees in the door step of private residences). By these millions of potted plants in the streets, walkways and alleys, inhabitants take a part of public space (illegally most of the time). Often streets are not grey but green because of these hybrid landscapes, these informal, bohemian’s gardens. Associated with the old part of Tokyo, the “low city”, these alleys crowded with potted plants collide with the image of a modern Tokyo.

The book could be a promenade in this unexpected Tokyo – it may be a form of sustainable development and a new concept of space, or an expression of creativity of the inhabitants.

Yasuyuki Takagi was born in Tokyo, Japan. He studied Media Arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and lives and works between Tokyo and New York. He assisted many leading photographers both art and commercial. Among his mentors include Koto Bolofo, Elliott Erwitt, and Stefan Ruiz. He now works on commissions for clients such as Art review, Brutus, GQ, Le Monde, Sunday Telegraph, Vogue Hommes International Paris and Wallpaper amongst others.

His personal work has been exhibited at the Capsule Gallery, Corridor Gallery, Lorimoto Gallery in New York and Artligue Gallery in Paris. This spring he participate in Le Monde’s “Nature in Tokyo” exhibition in Kyoto, Japan. This exhibition was part of Kyotographie International Photography Festival 2014. He was selected as one of the 10 finalists photographers at Hyéres festival of photography in 2012. He was a guest speaker at Parsons School of Arts in Paris 2013.

His first book Petite Foret Profonde translates to “small deep forest” is a photography book about the virgin forest of Yakushima in the southern island of Japan. This was published November 2013 by funny bones editions in Paris, France.

Artist’s Websiteyasuyukitakagi.com