Makoto Ueda: Ink of the City

Art
Makoto Ueda: Ink of the City

Architecture critic and editor Makoto Ueda's rarely seen photography is the focus of this exhibition centring on three specific topics: the collective housing complexes on Nagasaki's Hashima, better known as 'Battleship Island', the 'Dojunkai' apartments in Tokyo and Yokohama, and Ueda's 8mm photos of Marunouchi in 1961. The first series shows Hashima as it was in 1974, directly after the island's Meiji-era coal mining facility had been abandoned for good and the iconic apartment blocks were emptied of residents. The second collection documents the later history of the steel-and-concrete Dojunkai condominiums, constructed after the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake to withstand even the most powerful of quakes, and representing the peak of architectural innovation at the time. The last of these buildings, the Uenoshita Apartments, was demolished in 2013, ending an era of Tokyo urban history, despite the efforts of residents and preservation activists. Ueda's detailed images, which reveal the slow ageing of the structures, offer a fascinating look back at the city's past.

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