As we go through our day-to-day lives in cities and towns teeming with life, there are places that exist alongside them that are completely devoid of human life — places where the only things that grow are vines and weeds, and where the only people who knew their names have since departed.

In Japan, these places are called haikyo (廃墟). While the name directly translates to “ruins”, this term has become part of the common vocabulary for those who are into urban exploration. It is used to describe the hundreds of amusement parks, schools, and other buildings in Japan that were once attached with the hope that people would come and spend their time there, but for one reason or another, ended up abandoned and rotting away.

In recent years, there has been increased interest, not just among people in Japan, but also those from abroad, to visit these places and see the remnants of what might have been. Many of these visitors turn to photography to document these abandoned places, and this is exactly what is set to be presented in an upcoming photo exhibition focusing on Japan’s haikyo.

Titled “Changing Ruins Exhibition” (from the original Japanese name of 変わる廃墟展), the exhibition is a collection of the works of 15 photographers involved in haikyo photography. These photographers captured ruins all across Japan, with some even trekking snowy landscapes and crossing seas just to reach their subjects. In return, they hope that — as is referenced in the title — visitors leave with a “changed image” of Japan’s ruins.

The exhibition will be held in the Tokyo gallery of Todays Gallery Studio from March 12-28, 2021, and in the Nagoya gallery from April 3-18, 2021. You can find more information on the exhibition below or through Todays Gallery Studio’s Japanese website.

Changing Ruins Exhibition (変わる廃墟展)

  • Date: March 12-28, 2021 (Tokyo exhibition) / April 3-18, 2021 (Nagoya exhibition)
  • Hours: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Tokyo), 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Nagoya)
  • Venue: Todays Gallery Studio Tokyo, 5 Chome-27-6 Asakusabashi, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0053 Todays Gallery Studio Nagoya, 1 Chome-17-12 Shinsakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0007
  • Admission: 600 yen
  • Event page (Japanese)

By - Jen Laforteza.