Landscape of death

佐方 晴登 / Haruto Sakata

壊死するフウケイ / Landscape of death

2023.8.8 (tue) – 8.20 (sun)

Open 12:00 – 19:00 Closed Mondays


昭和の激動期に建設された、成田国際空港。政治的問題を抱えながらも、40年以上日本の玄関口としての役割を果たしてきた。現在、成田空港では新しい滑走路の建設が進んでいる。約1000haの建設用地(現在の空港敷地は1198ha)が買収される事で、空港の南東に広がる古くからの里山や明治以来の開墾地が失われてしまうのだ。 私は典型的な里山風景という表象をこの地に求め、失われる農村を撮影しようと試みた。しかし時すでに遅く、過疎化により、集落としての共同体は崩壊しかけ、農地は荒廃していた。聞くところによると、集落の殆どが空港拡張に賛成だと言う。 私は空港拡張に反対する立場ではないが、環境保護が叫ばれている昨今、更に自然に手を加え、大規模な人工物を建造するという事に関しては、一考の余地があるだろう。この風景たちは現代の縮図であり、状況の一部なのだと思う。


水野葉舟著 歌集「滴歴」草木屋出版部, 1940
のら社同人, 北井一夫他箸「壊死する風景―三里塚農民の生とことば」のら社, 1970

水野葉舟 ー 1883-1947 明治ー昭和時代の歌人、詩人、小説家。トルストイや高村光太郎の影響により、大正13年から三里塚駒井野で半農生活に入った。
のら社 ー 写真家北井一夫が主宰する出版社。北井一夫「三里塚」、木村伊兵衛「パリ」などを出版。

“At dawn on the vast plains of Shimosa no Maki, waterfowl fill the sky.”
ーFrom “Tekireki” by Yoshu Mizuno

Built in the tumultuous Showa era, Narita International Airport has served as Japan’s primary gateway for over 40 years, despite its politically troubled history. Construction of a new runway at Narita is currently underway. The acquisition of approximately 1000 ha for the project (the current airport covers 1198 ha) threatens the loss of ancient satoyama landscapes and Meiji-era reclaimed land stretching southeast of the airport.
In search of distinctive satoyama landscapes, I set out to photograph the disappearing rural villages, but it was too late; depopulation had taken its toll. Village communities had collapsed and farmland lay in ruins. From what I could gather, most of the villagers seem to be in favor of the airport expansion. I’m not against the expansion, but in an era where environmental protection is paramount, it’s worth considering whether further intrusion into nature to construct massive man-made structures is justified. These landscapes, I believe, are a microcosm of our contemporary world, part of a much larger situation.
The exhibition is structured around three elements: photographs of the rural landscapes that will be lost to the new runway, field recordings made on site, and video works. The field recordings, or “phonography” as they’re called in reference to the word “photography,” were created as an extension of the landscape photography. The videos are included to convey the dynamics of the site that cannot be captured in still images. These three elements are combined into a sound installation to better convey the atmosphere of the site.

Yoshu Mizuno, Poetry Collection ‘Tekireki’, Kusakiya Publishing, 1940
Nora-sha Collective, Kazuo Kitai et al., ‘Landscapes of Death – The Lives and Words of Sanrizuka Farmers’, Nora-sha, 1970

Yoshu Mizuno (1883-1947) was a poet, novelist, and lyricist active during the Meiji and Showa periods. Influenced by Leo Tolstoy and Kotaro Takamura, he moved to a semi-agricultural lifestyle in Komaino, Sanrizuka from 1924.
Nora-sha is a publishing house run by photographer Kazuo Kitai, known for publishing works such as Kitai’s ‘Sanrizuka’ and Ihei Kimura’s ‘Paris’.

佐方 晴登 / Haruto Sakata