The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Japanese Architecture

dc Tadao Ando Tokyo-201212075598

The man above is the famous Japanese architect, Tadao Ando.

Now I wish the building behind him was one of his award winning designs as that would be the perfect portrait but it is just some apartment building in Roppongi that happened to be behind Ando San as he joined ex-governor and Prime-Ministerial hopeful(less) Shintaro Ishihara and his erstwhile  deputy, Noaki Inose, electioneering in Tokyo on Friday. I did try to frame some architecture into my night-time portrait. The lighting on the election van was dramatic enough to not need too much flash and Ando San knew how to pose and look enigmatic and genius-like. He is quite a distinctive looking character anyways.

It was a bonus to find him there as i though I was just shooting Ishihara. A surprise too. indeed I am generally surprised when intelligent people like Ando San find any common ground and have anything to do with Ishihara. Reading a little bit about Ando san and how the  Japanese aesthetic and sense of identity has shaped his architectural designs I get why either he or Ishihara would find benefit in supporting each other though.

I may not like his friends but I do like what Ando San can do with some concrete and a well lit place because it is so different from what most other Japanese architects do. He makes extraordinarily interesting and gentle buildings that compliment the natural environment rather than dominate it. The heavy, blunt hideousness of the concrete apartment behind him in the image above is the usual.

I have to be honest, not being involved in architecture, I knew nothing of him before my friend, Tomonori Ogata (who is surely destined to be one of the greatest of the next generation of Japanese architects) turned me on to him.

It was good to finally see him in the flesh and get a nice portrait even from a distance.

Busy. More to follow.



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