Aoyama Kitamachi Apaato Gardens
Project info

”Niwaki” means ”garden trees” in Japanese. It describes trees that have been trained, controlled, and shaped. Trees made to look older than they are or to look like they have been formed by the wind. In this project, I have been photographing in a public housing complex in central Tokyo, just a few hundred meters from the famous and exclusive shopping street Omotesando, where for example Prada and Christian Dior have flagship stores. The name of the area is Aoyama Kitamachi Apaato, a city-owned public housing estate, built 1957 to 1968. The photographs were taken in 2016. Today, most of the area is demolished, a two high-rise buildings is dominating the site, a second 180-meter skyscraper is planned. Because the houses were doomed to demolition, they were dilapidated. The green spaces between the buildings were no man's land, the low-income inhabitants made spontaneous gardens. In my images, you see how people who lived there tried to take "control" of the growing green spaces, there are even some ”Niwaki” trees. The people's care of the green spaces in Aoyama Kitamachi Apaato is impressive and worth noting. The contrast between gardening and plants growing wild without control becomes a beautiful decay. There are even some ”Niwaki” trees. The entire project consists of about 20 images.