Jan Theun van Rees

in between tokyo | nihonbashi

When I visited Tokyo for the first time I noticed that al the houses are freestanding, there are no continuous façades. Every gap offers a limited view on what is behind the buildings. Strolling through the city I continuously peeked through the spaces in between the buildings. These countless series of views give the city an unexpected transparent character.

Once aware of my viewing behavior I pulled my focus forward, not to the space behind the buildings, but to the space that made the view possible; a small gap of ”nothing”, hardly wide enough for a slim person to enter, when entering is not obstructed by airco-units or fences that mark the adjacent lots.

It is dark in between the buildings. The view-through is framed by a black, so dark as if you are inside the dividing wall. Seen from the perspective of the inhabitants, that may be exactly what that in negative space in between the buildings is to them: a hollow extension of the two outside walls.
During twilight it appears that there are even windows looking out on the in-between spaces and when the lights are turned on inside, a wondrous scenery is created of different lights bouncing back and forth between the two walls.

As soon as these lights fill the dark ”inside of the wall”, the In Between becomes a space in its own right. Where a wall separates the neighboring apartments, the enlightened In Between connects the two distinctive buildings.
The observation of the gaps in Tokyo fits in with my attempts to depict a connection between the spaces on either side of a wall, collected within the section Camera Lucida.


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€ 1.239 for customers outside the EU

artist: Jan Theun van Rees
year: 2018
edition: 6

37,5 x 110cm (wxh)

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