Collection by Carren Jao

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.

With little more than scissors and glue, Nishino pieces together thousands of personally photographed prints in an...
Nishino’s first map was that of Osaka, his hometown.
Nishino’s latest creation is a map of London.
In London, Nishino captured the Queen’s Guard marching on the mall… Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak...
…Norman Foster's "Gherkin" dominating the skyline... Diorama Map London, 2010, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper,...
and the city’s iconic Tower Bridge.
In 2006, he finished a map of New York, which ended up measuring a whopping 52 inches by 67 inches. Diorama Map New...
Nishino captured Times Square… Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, ©...
…and Ground Zero… Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, © Sohei Nishino,...
…and the Empire State Building. Diorama Map New York, 2006, Light jet print on Kodak Endura paper, 133 x 172 cm, ©...
Nishino has made maps of nine other cities including Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Paris.
Nishino also uses color photographs using the same process to produce “i-Land” and “Night.” Diorama Map Night,...
In his colored works, Nishino pieces together the cosmopolitan centers of different Japanese cities to form a surreal...
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