Nishino Sōhei


Nishino Sōhei represents Tokyo with a collage of thousands of images he took as he explored the city. Some were shot at street level; others look down on the city’s avenues, alleyways, and train lines from high-rise buildings. Recently Nishino has expanded the project to include major urban centers around the globe.

InDiorama Map Tokyo 2014 the physical features of the city appear in close approximation to their actual location; however, the effect is extremely disconcerting as Nishino fractures the topography and adds radical shifts in scale. He provides his viewers with clear images of many recognizable monuments—Tokyo Sky Tree, Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Tower, and Rainbow Bridge at the mouth of the Sumida River—but the overall effect is of a series of fragmented views, not unlike what one experiences moving through Tokyo’s urban spaces.

In some places high-rise buildings merge together in rows, elsewhere street signs are easily readable.  The diorama also collapses time; night and day are both present at the same time. The single image is, in fact, a record of days of photographing.


Image credit: Nishino Sōhei. Born in Hyogo, Japan, 1982. Lives and works in Tokyo. Diorama Map—Tokyo, 2014. Light jet print. Smith College Museum of Art. Purchased with gifts in honor of Samuel C. Morse, Curatorial Consultant for Asian Art, 2000-2015. ©2015 Nishino Sōhei.