Abandoned couches. You’ve probably seen some on the streets or in the alleys where you live, or maybe discarded by the side of the road, or even tossed willy-nilly into a field or patch of empty land somewhere. What are they doing there? How did they get there? What happens to them? A few years ago, I was inspired by a fellow Flickr photographer who goes by the handle petalum to shoot and in a sense create backstories for all of these seemingly random pieces of furniture in the wild. His anthropomorphizing theory was that all of these sofas had somehow escaped their indoor bondage, and were now on the move somewhere — anywhere — but free. Something about the juxtaposition of these pieces, designed for indoor comfort and intimacy, but now exposed and vulnerable on their journeys, has appealed to me ever since. I’m constantly on the lookout for them, mostly in San Francisco, where I live, but pretty much everywhere I travel as well. Sofa Free forever!
I recently had a quick break in Tokyo, to visit a friend and to explore the biggest urban conglomeration in the world, with a population of around thirty five million people it’s a remarkably complex place. I’ve visited once before in 2003 and it was a pleasure to visit again, given the size the way everything functions is like clockwork for the most part, the train system is very efficient and people are polite, if generally kind of disconnected. The variation in architecture was quite remarkable from tiny suburban hovels to the sparkling towers & neon of Shinjuku and a surprsing amount of small historical buildings dotted around. The thing which sticks with me more than anything else, having lived in Melbourne for many years is the fact that you’re never alone, no matter what. As soon as you walk out the front door there are people, and it continually denser as you gravitate towards the commercial/business/entertainment districts. I’m sure Ill be making many more visits to Tokyo each experience will be vastly different I’d expect.
Watch the continually evolving set on flickr