Kusa no Ue no Chusyoku
Pages: 88 / photos: 46
Size: 230x207x12mm / hardcover
Release Date: January 2008
Hayato Wakabayashi is a young photographer, born in Tokyo in 1980. As a child, he often visited an indoor botanical garden with his grandparents, who played a major role in raising him. The garden was over an hour away from home, so the visits left a powerful impression. For this project, he traveled across Japan to take photos of other indoor botanical gardens, as a way to work through this childhood memory.
The result is a highly colorful work, with a strange aspect to it--the frame is usually packed with dense and varied foliage, as if we know that what we're seeing couldn't really be part of the natural world. Looking closer, we can see that support beams, lightbulbs and tresses emerge from the scenery. Sometimes, the crosshatched windows peek out from behind a flower or a tree. The most dramatic photos fully reveal these outside walls of the gardens, producing a disorienting effect from seeing nature in such a hemmed-in space.