A renowned photographer in the fashion industry, Stéphane Laniray travels to Tokyo twice a year. Stuck for long hours in his hotel room, waiting for the next runway event to be shot, the French artist decided to stave off boredom in going out and taking pictures of the city. The Tokyo Architecture series resulted of his wanderings around town. Private dwellings, government buildings and offices, public lighting or factories attracted the eye of Laniray, particulary fond of architecture, and a great admirer of Mies van der Rohe’s achievements.
Tokyo is stripped bare of any explicit representation (crowded and extremely lively, but also suffocatingly hot at the time the series was shot). Each image is multiplied, distorted into a renewed evocation, unleashing imagination. Far from cliché representations of Tokyo, Laniray’s quest for urban poetry reveals the raw beauty of a wall covered in graffiti, and turns a glass building into a finely shaped diamond. In most of the photographs, human beings are nowhere to be seen; a line of trees or tangled electric wires design a whole new urban story. Focused on actual details, the artist depicts a fantasied rendering of Japan’s capital city. Stéphane Laniray, whose pictures can regularly be seen in prominent Interior decorating magazines, owns and runs the Anorak Gallery in Paris.
(Journalist Elodie Palasse-Leroux is the founder and editor of Sleek design)
Tokyo Architecture, by Stéphane Laniray