Photographs of Tokyo's parks and playgrounds closed off during the pandemic

© Lee Basford. All images courtesy of the artist.

During Tokyo's initial voluntary lockdown earlier this year, its parks and playgrounds were cordoned off to varying degrees across the metropolis. Depending on the location and its residents, some remained untouched while others were torn down by rebellious locals, only to be put back up by workers the following day.

Over the weeks this enforcement was in place, Lee Basford documented these public spaces across the city navigating its unusually quiet streets by bike. "Most parks were empty, children played in areas around the edges. But later as people grew tired of the restrictions, I began to see more of the tape removed, especially in the more residential areas," he tells Creative Boom.

"It took me about a week to begin documenting the parks, although I wish I'd started sooner, I kept seeing these beautiful objects, each unique, thinking it would make a really interesting collection of images that may possibly never be seen again."

Lee is a British designer, art director and photographer who has been living and working in Tokyo since 2013. His clients include Sony, Uniqlo, Nike, and Rapha. Over the years, he has written, illustrated, and photographed for Paper-Sky, Dazed and Confused, Tokion, Level and designed typefaces for T26 and Fountain fonts. He has also exhibited internationally. You can find out more about his work at leebasford.com.

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford

© Lee Basford