Whether photographing limestone quarried by explosive blasts, the evolution of a city from a bird’s-eye-view, or recovery and reconstruction efforts of the artist’s tsunami-swept hometown in northeastern Japan, Naoya Hatakeyama’s photographic explorations have consistently traced the ways that human intervention alters nature and transforms it into the built environment. Each keenly composed image captures phases of creation, change, and destruction over time in Japan’s contemporary topographies. By documenting the lifecycles of these built and natural environments, Hatakeyama (Japanese, b. 1958) creates not just records of their past and present, but provides the possibility of imagining and projecting their future.
The artist’s first thematic exhibition organized by a U.S. museum features approximately 90 works created over the last 30 years.