Photographs by Michael Wolf. Essay by Christian Schüle.
In his series Tokyo Compression, Wolf expands upon the dominant themes previous work: the layers of city life and the juxtaposition of private and public spaces. Wolf continues his examination of the urban landscape, returning to the camera to capture the crush of the Tokyo subway. Wolf assumes a range of viewpoints this new work, both intimate and removed, and the series charts a progression from an expansive view of city life to a microscopic view, illustrating both the architectural density and human density of our layered urban existence.
In Tokyo Compression, Wolf goes underground and close-up, capturing riders at one Tokyo subway station. Privacy has almost ceased to exist, and Wolf magnifies the situation by photographing his subjects from mere inches away. The subjects here close their eyes or attempt to turn away, trying to retain some privacy in this crowded space. The portraits together form a psychological typology and are evocative of the stifling environment experienced on a daily basis by the underground riders. The images in Tokyo Compression, while different from the architectural studies explored in Architecture of Density, continue to illustrate Wolf’s fascination with contemporary cities, and the many components and layers that comprise a city.
75 color plates
Published by Peperoni (Rare 1st Edition), 2010
$650 // Collectible, limited quantities available.