Photographing the biggest city in the world can be tough, but Rohan Hutchinson makes it work by focusing in on the tiniest details of Tokyo’s streets and buildings. Based in Australia, Hutchinson is an architectural photographer whose work focuses on our relationship to the built environment.
In his series The City In Itself, Hutchinson explores “the variety of architectural elements that make up a city.” Through carefully composed, starkly minimal photos, Hutchinson examines the bricks, sidewalks, electrical wires, trees, and walls that fill up Tokyo’s streets. At first, these images might feel like they could have been taken anywhere; but as you continue through the series, the unique character of Tokyo’s architecture gradually reveals itself.
Despite the usual view of Tokyo being a hectic city packed with people, there’s almost no evidence of human life in Hutchinson’s images. The signs that are there are unobtrusive and small—a doorknob, a railing, an umbrella abandoned in the rain. Hutchinson’s quiet depictions of this crowded city offers a moment of respite from the usual rush of a metropolitan environment. The City In Itself shows that it’s possible for urban architecture to provide space for contemplation, even in the busiest of cities.