Chris Becker has lived in some major cities including New York, Minneapolis and Taipei, so when the opportunity arose, he was excited to visit the metropolis of Tokyo.
Before his trip began, Becker made an attempt to plan what he would shoot. He was hoping to have a particular viewpoint, wanting to focus on something unique to Tokyo but not too familiar to people outside of Japan.
After some time of researching and corresponding with other artists living there, he decided to just play it be ear, keep an open mind and actually just go have fun; after all, it was only a 72-hour visit. Becker was invigorated at the prospect of visiting a new country not as a hired photographer, but as tourist with a trained eye.
Upon his arrival, as he approached the city of Tokyo, Becker was enamored with the winding highways interweaving amongst the ultramodern buildings, the many large modern structures often seen in futuristic science fiction movies. Becker recalled he began to notice everything having some sort of organization or pattern – even the factories appeared to be clean and orderly. The spaces in between the buildings seemed purposeful and intentional.
Becker decided to keep it simple and walk on the streets everywhere, which seemed like a good idea at the time. He grabbed a street map and set out with fresh feet, a couple of cameras and extra memory cards. Of course, Tokyo is enormous and with the summer temperature combined with the inherent heat of the city, Becker was caught off guard with he heat. The many vending machines with water and various drinks located a long the side walks were very much appreciated. He walkedina few different sections of the city everyday-shopping areas, financial districts, amusement parks, residential areas, older sections of the city. Becker observed the people around him. He noticed couples headed to the parks, having picnics and enjoying each other company, while wearing traditional garments. He was pleased to see younger Japanese couples embracing the old Japanese culture.
Becker’s base was in Shibuya, a popular dining, shopping and entertainment area of Tokyo, with the famously busy Shibuya intersection and train station only a quick walk away. This is the busiest intersection in the world, with roughly 2500 pedestrians crossing at the signal change during rush hour. Armed with a sturdy little tripod and camera, Becker focused shooting time exposures at that intersection for two nights, capturing residents and tourists alike on the crossroads to their destinations.
After three hot days wandering the streets of Tokyo, Becker collected some fond memories, most notably how polite and courteous the residents are, as well as the safety, organization, and overall pace of the city.
Chris Becker is a photographer based in Kennebunkport, Maine. Becker was born and raised in Minnesota.
He received a BFA in Photography with an emphasis on Environmental Geography from Ohio University in 1992. After living in Taipei, he wrote and photographed several stories for World Geographic Magazine focusing on cultures and environments in jeopardy. He then began to work on his personal fine art projects, specializing in long exposures, working with mobile lights sources and began exhibiting with fine art galleries while living in NYC. Becker currently lives in Maine working on documentaries and personal fine art projects but he still enjoys telling stories with pictures which have been featured in The New York Times and other publications. [Official Website]
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