Photographed in Tokyo on three visits over a 15 year period Nothing Eventually records the perplexing extremes that exist in this strange and complex mega city, a place that defies comprehension. The city speaks to the traveller in riddles, nothing is what it seems. Its complexity is baffling and full of contradictions. Village-like suburban streets sit quietly alongside the love hotels, the Pachinko parlours, the boy-girl meet up clubs, the Harajuku girls and the endless neon. Cultural cross-overs are the norm with Japanese tradition blending with the Tokyo Hello Kitty version of US teen Pop Culture. The aged shuffle on while youth push the extremes. The city seems all surface and one is left, on departure, feeling none-the-wiser. This leaves the western traveller feeling that despite the depth of the city’s unique Japanese culture there is an aura of impending doom where the brilliance and glitter of Tokyo’s veneer will inevitably lead to an unhappy ending.
Known for his evocative and unsettling images, Harvey Benge’s focus is on picture series realised through the photo-book. With over sixty titles to date, his work has been published in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. His photographs have also been shown in public and private galleries in the UK and throughout Europe as well as in New Zealand. Working in both Auckland and Paris, he explores the nature of reality, investigating the overlooked, the unseen and the insignificant in the First World’s urban environments. A particular interest is the notion of parallel lives, “While something is happening here, something else is happening over there.”
“In his search for the absurd and bizarre in the urban landscape….small moments of everyday life flash with ambiguity and tension, contrasts and conflicts. Part humorous…often he shows disturbing signs of differences, small anarchies… an urban dream at the edges of reality.”
- Deichtorhallen, Hamburg.
"One of the few photographers today who does as much for the poetics as for the philosophy of photography."
- Markus Schaden, Cologne.
“The work reveals a sublime banality, arresting moments that have no retreat. Your scenes in the street seem to push forward… a very fresh strange way of looking.”
- Justine Kurland, New York.
Also by Harvey Benge
The Month Before Trump
Some Things You Should Have Told Me