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Takashi Shikano Photo Exhibition
#shibuyacrossing

When Tokyo was chosen to host the Olympic Games, I got an idea to photograph the symbolic things the city is known for in the leadup to 2020. Of all the different places and scenes I captured, the one subject that stuck in my mind was the “scramble” intersection in Shibuya. For one minute, while all of the pedestrian signals are green, a countless number of lives scurry through the melee, each and every one heading in their own direction off in their own world.

The media always returns to this famed intersection to show public reaction to what is going on in the world. They did this when the World Cup was being played, when the Heisei Era was rolled into the Reiwa Era, as the city was getting ready to celebrate Halloween, when all signs of life had vanished from the streets under the state of emergency or just to report tomorrowʼs weather. Some people say that this fuels madness amongst the young. But, one “crazy” intersection does not mean the end of the world, if you ask me.

If you run a search for “#shibuyacrossing” (with a hashtag *1) on social media *2, you get tons of pics of smiling faces of people obviously from all corners of the world. Sadly, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, foreigners have literally disappeared from the worldʼs most famous intersection. Today, people tacitly cross the road, their emotions hidden from view by the masks they wear. When the smiles return to Shibuya, Iʼll know that the corona hell is over.

*1:A metatag that categorizes social media postings into easily searchable keywords and topics by adding a #(hashtag) symbol.
*2:A collective term for websites where registered members can interact like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Takashi Shikano Profile

Born in Tokyo in 1974. Graduated from Tama Art University. After working various jobs, became a freelance photographer. Took photographs for advertisements and magazines as a side job while teaching part-time at Saitama Prefectural High School of the Arts and the Department of Photography at Nihon University’s College of Art. Is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society.

Official website

Exhibitions

2003
“Tokyo Sunny Day”, Konica Minolta Plaza
2009-2010
“Restoring the Five-Storied Pagoda on Mt. Minobu”,
Canon Gallery Ginza, Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, etc.
2010
“Beijingscape”, Epsite Gallery
2012
“Sympathizing with the Sacred Mountain, Shichimenzan”, Konica Minolta Plaza
2016
“Hayakawa, Yamanashi: Smallest Town under the Lens”, Shinjuku Nikon Salon
2017
“Taketa People, Taketa Colors”, Taketa Art Culture 2017
2018
“Shima Shima”, Glocal Café Ikebukuro
2020
“Ashita-Color”, Roonee 247 Fine Arts

Publications

2010
“Restoring the Five-Storied Pagoda on Mt. Minobu”, Heibonsha
2013
“Sympathizing with the Sacred Mountain, Shichimenzan”, Heibonsha
2016
“Hayakawa, Yamanashi: Smallest Town under the Lens”, Heibonsha