Tokyo No Ads: Undressing the Metropolis...Again (GIFs)

Tokyo No Ads: Undressing the Metropolis...Again (GIFs)

Editor's Note:
Some work is just too good to share only once. 

The Image in Our Heads 

It’s safe to say that when the world thinks ”Tokyo,” first to mind are the flashy, bombastic, visually stunning urban Asia aesthetics of the iconic ShibuyaShinjuku, and Ginza neighborhoods. In our experience, for the majority of people who’ve never visited, the entire metropolis is imagined to be a Bladerunner-esque, futuristic seethe of urbanization - except clean and safe and minus the android robot drama, of course.

Those of us living here, however, know well that the aforementioned metro hubs are wildly exceptional, and most of Tokyo is relatively mundane. But, we also know that effectively all places of business are spackled with a comparable abundance of advertising, signage, and visual promotions. Which is to say, although Shibuya’s scramble intersection is an exemplar of excess, consider it a macrocosm; heavy, loud, often excessive advertising is endemic to Japanese commercial districts of all sizes.

...but, what if it all - big and small - just vanished?

Take it All Off: Tokyo no Ads

Curious what the city would look like minus the considerable veneer of public advertisement, French artist and graphic designer Nicolas Damiens set about stripping it all away. In his words:

“This project is born of curiosity to see what the streets of Tokyo would look like without any ads and others signs. My work is absolutely not anti-advertising. Signs are part of Tokyo's appeal, it's very graphic. I was just curious to see Tokyo from another point of view.

"Tokyo no ads" is also a wordplay because in Japanese it means "Tokyo's Ads" (Tokyo の Ads), and in English, of course, it’s "Tokyo without Ads."

What resulted is the series of GIFs below - at once revealing, a bit jarring, very Soviet, and somehow, oddly profane. Enjoy!

Inline GIF Gallery:

 

Thanks to Mr. Damiens for permission to share this collection. Learn more about his work at www.nicolasdamiens.com.

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