In 2018, I spent my first summer in Japan. At that time, I used to take afternoon walks around the Tama River to release the pressure and boredom of living in the city. On both sides of the river bank, there are large areas of wasteland and woods, in which there seems to be a lot of things to explore, such as traces of vagabond life, artificial facilities like a landscape, various people fishing in strange locations, etc...

Walking along the river from Kawasaki Ukijima (the mouth of the Tamagawa River) to Okutama Town, which is about 167 kilometers away, you can see the city's transformation from noisy and bustling to silent and dying. I was amazed by the intertwining of human traces and natural creations, the stagnant development of new towns and villages, and the activities of city dwellers along the river.

The river is like a link that ties together all the fragmented buildings, people and trivial details, while society is like an invisible plane that compresses these towering buildings, trees and people into an orderly framework, monotonous and repetitive. The river in front of us has been endowed with urban functions, where there are baseball fields and various artificial facilities at regular intervals, and the river distributes its bounty equally to everyone here. It also makes the river wild, as mechanical, orderly and repetitive as human life in the city.

On the hike, exploring through the surface, I saw a lot of everyday sights about the city, but also mixed in with it were sights that I found somewhat strange and off-putting. So I photographed things that I found interesting while hiking along the river. And I wanted to share with the audience that there's still something fun about the urban to pastoral change.

August 2019

 

I finished my trip along the river last October. On the ferry to Takamatsu the day after I left Tokyo, the news of the night was playing on the TV: the water level in the Tama River had swollen due to a typhoon, and the floodwaters had surged up the embankment during the torrential downpour, making it an apocalyptic scene. The blue huts of the vagrants were swallowed up, the wastes of the landscape were probably washed away, the baseball field was gone, and the floodwaters spread to the homes of the residents along the riverbank.

The sudden onset of the Corona virus in the winter kept me from coming back around the river. The virus and the flood had something in common, washing down the rules of the old world. It swept away the bikes in the yard.

On the morning the floodwaters recede, in the screen, the camera turns to the riverbank mixed with twigs and mud, the fish pickers on the bank, and the raging water downstream.​​​​​​​

August 2020.

2018年,我在日本度过了第一个夏天。那时候常在下午到多摩川附近散步,释放住在城里的郁闷与无聊。河堤两岸有大片的荒地和树林,在这其中似乎隐藏着很多值得探索的东西,像是流浪者生活的痕迹、地景一样的人工设施、各种在奇怪位置钓鱼的人等等…

从川崎浮岛(多摩川入海口)到奥多摩町大概167公里,沿着河岸行走,恰好可以看到城市从喧闹繁杂到寂静凋零的转变。人的痕迹与自然造物交织、发展停滞的新城与乡村、都市人的河边活动,这些都让我感到十分新奇。

河流像纽带,把所有碎片化的建筑、人物、琐碎细节串成一串,社会则像无形的平面,将这些耸立的建筑、树木、人压缩在充满秩序的框架内,单调且重复。面前这条河流被人赋予了城市机能,这里每隔一段距离就会有棒球场、各种人工设施,河流将恩惠平分给每个在这里的人,人们改造它、充分利用它。这也让河流变得失去了野性,和人在城市中的生活一样,机械、秩序且重复。

在徒步旅行中,通过表面的探索,我看到了很多关于城市的日常景象,同时也有夹杂在其中让我觉得有些奇怪且违和的景物存在。因此我在沿河徒步的过程中拍下了自己觉得有意思的事物。并想向观众分享都市到田园的变化还有一些好玩的东西。

 

2019年8月

 

去年十月结束了沿河的旅行。离开东京的第二天,在开往高松的渡船上,电视里滚动播放当晚的新闻:因台风来袭,多摩川水位告急,在暴雨中洪水涌上了防洪堤,简直一副末日的景象。流浪者的蓝色小屋被吞没了,地景一样的废弃物大概也被冲走了,棒球场不见了,洪水甚至蔓延到河堤边居民的家里。

冬天突如其来的传染病让我没能再来河边转转。病毒和洪水有一些共性,冲垮了旧世界的规则。卷走了院子里的自行车。

在洪水洪水退去的早上,屏幕里,镜头转向混杂着树枝与泥泞的河滩,岸边捡鱼的人,还有下游汹涌的河水。

 

2020年8月