Michael Wolf: Tokyo Compression

Welcome to the subway. Not the raw, almost glamorous subway of Bruce Davidson’s New York nor the antiseptic vast metro of the tourists snaps of Pyongyang but the squashed, otherworldly commuter hell subway of Japan’s capital. British TV of a certain type used to feature footage of poor folks on Japanese trains being physically squeezed into carriages and now through Michael Wolf’s images it’s possible to see the aftermath: the faces of the commuters as they stare back at the world.

The shots often feel ethereal: faces held in puzzling concentration stare through condensation or the distortion of the carriage glass. Some look like they’re struggling with discomfort, others are serene, one flicks the photographer the finger. The overall feeling is of an eerie calm in the middle of the storm; of lonely defiance in the midst of a crowd. The result is that instead of an indistinguishable mass we see instead the humanity struggling within the crowd.

See it here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s