The term “landscape photography” usually conjures up visions of green vistas and sublime natural landscapes. But photographer Toshio Shibita takes a different approach in his series, Constructed Landscapes. Rather than focusing on what’s natural about the landscape, he focuses on how humans have changed it.
Bridges and waterfalls and things that resemble abandoned public works become enchanting images in his series, which was shot mainly in Japan. Typically, we think of these structures as unappealing additions to natural landscape, but Shibata invites us to see them differently. The curators at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, where his work is currently on display, describes what Shibata does quite nicely:
Photographing erosion control barriers, water catchments, roads, dams and bridges, he examines the unique appearance of such structures in his native land. Through his lens, riverbeds can look like origami, and waterfalls resemble kimono.