Japanese photographer, Aya Takada's work immediately reveals something unexpected: the remnants and ruins of buildings and places - neither ancient nor stereotypically exotic - in a country perceived by Westerners as on a constant economic and social upswing: her native Japan.
Much of the work in this exhibition was taken at an abandoned motel for quick stays called FU-RIN, outside of Tokyo, which is also the title of this show, Takada's first in the United States.
Takada, who was born in 1973 in Kanagawa, makes work about abandoned places, work that reflects a trend by Japanese photographers of photographing modern ghost towns and ghost buildings (haikyo), which are not difficult to find in a country in which the population is falling, putting its economic future at risk. In the United States, we have seen countless photographers descending on Detroit with similar motivations.
But Takada's photographs go beyond the "urban-ruins" approach to photography.. Her work appears to be informed by the detached gaze of photographers ranging from Eugene Atget to William Eggleston. And yet, her work is not quite so distant. Her presence is felt in her photographs, of what she calls simply "ruins," or of snowy, winter scenes. It is an honor to present this work for the first time at Benedictine University.
Text by John Sevigny
This exhibition ran from August 11 – September 30, 2014.
For more information on Takada's work see:http://www.japanexposures.com/2009/10/15/aya-takada-from-fragrance-midnight/