"The end of the 1970s saw the completion of Japan's postwar construction, as well as a withering of the student movement and the various terrorist acts that had shaken the global community. The early 1980s was a brief interlude of calm, anticipating the end of the long Showa era, before Japan was deluged by the bubble economy.

I had just returned to Japan in 1980, after studying for four years in Flanders where time moves slowly, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. In addition to the rapidly advancing westernization, the reality of this new Tokyo, where old pre-war Showa is blended with modern Showa (post-war) looked disorderly and chaotic to me, and it was not easy to capture it visually.

I struggled to realize my own mode of expression in this home country of mine, and began by chasing lights of the night-time to deflect this chaos."

-Toshio Shibata, afterword Yodaka

Published by Zen Foto gallery in 2015, Yodaka is Toshio Shibata's most recent publication. Known for his imagery which capture the relationship between the man-made and natural, Shibata's Yodaka presents a collection of photographs which attempt at making sense of Japan's post-war environment. Photographed in black and white, the 41 images bound within this publication provides viewers the opportunity to glimpse at a body of work; captured soon after Shibata's return to Japan after his fellowship in Ghent at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1979.

Artist Profile


Born in 1949 in Tokyo, Toshio Shibata has been producing a body of photographs which both question and recreate the image as landscape. Travelling across the country of Japan to journeying through America, Shibata's imagery presents a the relationship between humans and their environments, highlighting both the descructive and creative powers of the human presence within nature.