Saturday, July 16, 2011

Portraits of Squashed Commuters in Japan by Michael Wolf

Photographer Michael Wolf spent 30 days in a Tokyo metro station, capturing the traumatized faces of commuters on their way to work. Their woeful expressions have been immortalized in Wolf's photographic series, "Tokyo Compression". Each photograph is composed of individuals pressed up against windows and doors of the subway train with expressions of discomfort and stress after a hard day’s work.

The photographs were all taken at one station on Tokyo's Odakyu Line – the only stop where Wolf could get really close to the train windows. "Every 80 seconds a new train runs in," explains Wolf. "When the commuters get in and are pushed against a window, I'm two inches away from that window."

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Having a camera shoved in their faces didn't make the commuters any more cheerful. "No one was pleased with it," admits Wolf. "My being there made them suddenly aware of how horrible the situation is and they were ashamed of it, but there was nothing they could do. They couldn't move away, leave the train, so some people tried to hide behind their hands. Others had this idea that if they closed their eyes, and they couldn't see me, then somehow I couldn't see them.”

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[via The Independent, Photojojo]

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3 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic photo series... even though I felt a little squeemish (like watching a modern version of Pompeii) it also felt quite erotically charged. The intimate moments, pressed up against the windows of our souls.

    Very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's why I avoided rush hour in Tokyo! People push and shove. The concept of personal space is inexistant there...

    ReplyDelete

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