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Fantastical Photographic Maps

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If photography is an act of capturing reality, then artist Sohei Nishino has gone leaps and bounds further than most with his “diorama maps.” Influenced by the 18th century Japanese surveyor Ino Tadataka—who spent 17 years creating the first detailed map of Japan during the early 1800s—Nishino pounds the streets of a city for a month, taking thousands of photographs in an effort to immortalize his experience of a place. For three months after photographing, he “re-experiences” the city by holing up in his Tokyo studio, cutting and gluing together the small prints of the city as he recalls it. “It will be the embodiment of how I remember the city, and a diary of the streets I walk,” says Nishino. So time consuming is the process to make his monumental work that Nishino can only to produce three maps a year. Nishino’s work is on view at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London until April 2nd, and in the slideshow that follows.

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  With little more than scissors and glue, Nishino pieces together thousands of personally photographed prints in an effort to re-experience a city.Diorama Map i-Land, 2007/2008, Light jet print on, Kodak Endura paper, 170 x 250 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    With little more than scissors and glue, Nishino pieces together thousands of personally photographed prints in an effort to re-experience a city.Diorama Map i-Land, 2007/2008, Light jet print on, Kodak Endura paper, 170 x 250 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  Nishino’s first map was that of Osaka, his hometown. His process began during a portfolio review while studying at the Osaka University of Arts in 2003 when he realized that a whole selection of photographs was a better representation of reality than one final edit of a print.Diorama Map Osaka, 2003, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 143 x 136 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    Nishino’s first map was that of Osaka, his hometown. His process began during a portfolio review while studying at the Osaka University of Arts in 2003 when he realized that a whole selection of photographs was a better representation of reality than one final edit of a print.Diorama Map Osaka, 2003, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 143 x 136 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  Nishino’s latest creation is a map of London. He took over 10,000 pictures using over 300 rolls of black and white film. Of these, only 4,000 photos made it onto the London map.Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    Nishino’s latest creation is a map of London. He took over 10,000 pictures using over 300 rolls of black and white film. Of these, only 4,000 photos made it onto the London map.Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  In London, Nishino captured the Queen’s Guard marching on the mall…Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    In London, Nishino captured the Queen’s Guard marching on the mall…Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  …Norman Foster's "Gherkin" dominating the skyline...Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    …Norman Foster's "Gherkin" dominating the skyline...Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  and the city’s iconic Tower Bridge. After piecing all these together, the collage was then photographed as a whole to produce on final image.Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    and the city’s iconic Tower Bridge. After piecing all these together, the collage was then photographed as a whole to produce on final image.Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 230 x 128 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  In 2006, he finished a map of New York, which ended up measuring a whopping 52 inches by 67 inches.Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    In 2006, he finished a map of New York, which ended up measuring a whopping 52 inches by 67 inches.Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  Nishino captured Times Square…Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    Nishino captured Times Square…Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  …and Ground Zero…Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    …and Ground Zero…Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  …and the Empire State Building.Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    …and the Empire State Building.Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  Nishino has made maps of nine other cities including Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Paris. Last month, he was in Rio, shooting the city during Carnival season.Diorama Map Paris, 2008, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 156 x 135 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    Nishino has made maps of nine other cities including Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Paris. Last month, he was in Rio, shooting the city during Carnival season.Diorama Map Paris, 2008, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 156 x 135 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  Nishino also uses color photographs using the same process to produce “i-Land” and “Night.”Diorama Map Night, 2009/2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 150 x 231 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
    Nishino also uses color photographs using the same process to produce “i-Land” and “Night.”Diorama Map Night, 2009/2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 150 x 231 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.
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  In his colored works, Nishino pieces together the cosmopolitan centers of different Japanese cities to form a surreal urban landscape.Diorama Map Night, 2009/2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 150 x 231 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    In his colored works, Nishino pieces together the cosmopolitan centers of different Japanese cities to form a surreal urban landscape.Diorama Map Night, 2009/2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 150 x 231 cm, © Sohei Nishino, Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary/ Emon Photo Gallery.

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