Photographs of 'small town' Japan that reveal a different side to the Land of the Rising Sun

All images courtesy of the artist. Via Creative Boom submission.

All images courtesy of the artist. Via Creative Boom submission.

Not surprisingly, Tokyo is one of the most photographed cities in the world. But it's the often unexpected fringes that offer a different perspective – the small villages and towns that are far from the stereotypes often associated with contemporary Japan.

Guido Castagnoli’s series, Provincial Japan, uncovers no frenzied megalopolis, no rapidly expanding techno-city. Nor are there signs of the kind of extreme minimalism often associated with Japanese culture. Instead we encounter an atmosphere of quiet and refined suspension amid the somewhat surrealistic landscape of the Shizuoka district.

Although the settings depicted in the photographs will likely be unfamiliar, the subjects, the focus on space and structures, and the conspicuous absence of people are reminiscent of the work of photographers like Stephen Shore, Robert Adams and others from the New Topographic movement.

Guido Castagnoli’s Provincial Japan is a series about the Japanese vernacular landscape. It is all the more noteworthy in the context of an American audience as it references America’s own kitsch and vernacular culture in ways that resonate.

Born in Turin, Italy, Guido studied Advertising Graphics and Communication before he began his professional career as an art director of a leading advertising agency in Milan. He later turned his hobby of photography into a full-time venture and now works freelance for clients across the world. He's based in Berlin. Discover more: