Japanese Playgrounds Will Make You Wish You Were a Kid Again
Alle foto's door Kito Fujio

Japanese Playgrounds Will Make You Wish You Were a Kid Again

Photographer Kito Fujio traveled across his country to document playgrounds at night.
July 8, 2017, 12:05pm

This article originally appeared on Creators France.

We hold the hours we spent at the playground during our childhood close to our chests. For some of us, that might be because those memories were associated with injuries—an arm broken while playing on a seesaw or a few teeth lost during a jump from the top of a slide. When you think about it, playgrounds are child-breaking machines, which is probably why they're so standardized today: Safe, ugly, and boring. Fortunately, Kito Fujio immortalized Japan's most beautiful playgrounds before they were replaced by beastly castles made of CE-certified plywood. The Japanese photographer traveled across his country in search of playgrounds that formed his identity. After the arcade games, comfy cottage interiors, and high-speed urbanization, he tackled the concrete slides shaped like zoo animals.

The series is called Park Playground Equipment, and it revisits the work of one man: Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American sculptor, designer, and inventor of these play sculptures for children. His first creation, which dates back to 1933, can be found in Sapporo. His most essential creations are located in Japan, but certain ones were exported to the United States, which is why you can find one at the Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The sculpture's journey is understandable, given that Noguchi's playgrounds inspired l'architecture canard—or Novelty Architecture—a movement born in the 1930s not far from the state of Georgia. Yet the movement was more rooted in advertising than play.

Kito Fujio takes his photos during long strolls at night, in which he carries the lighting equipment required to create these chilling ambiences to capture the identity of his shots. He is releasing a book that will be available for purchase on his website later this month.