Sunday, June 04, 2006

"Naoki Honjo -- The Metropolis in Miniature"

By ASHLEY RAWLINGS

News photo

Naoki Honjo's photographs have sparked off a wave of imitations. Taken either from a helicopter or a skyscraper with a tilt-shift lens, they depict the urban landscape as though it were a miniature model. A number of articles published online have explained how to use techniques in Photoshop to create the effect in photographs taken with standard lenses. The copycat images broadly produce the same results, but they come across as gimmicks, somehow lacking any sense of the artist's original vision, because Honjo's work is more than just model photography.

In the exhibition at Aoyama Book Centre, which follows his recent show at the Good Design Company, an image of a tiny helicopter taking off from a port reminds the viewer that it is the real world that he is photographing and not just a still-life made of plastic. Finding it strange how much we take for granted surroundings which have been built by people we do not know, Honjo aims to express a "sense of falseness" about the cities we live in. The bird's eye view creates a strong sense of detachment from life at ground level, and the toylike miniaturization of the city makes the urban infrastructure appear incredibly fragile.

1 comment:

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