New Land - Pre-Hokkaido Landscapes

Book Size
260 × 367 mm
104 pages, 56 images
Publication Year
English, Japanese

The mountains of Hokkaido, photographed like a distant planet. Landscapes beyond recognition. Unearthly scenes from a primordial world. In his photobook “New Land: Pre-Hokkaido Landscapes,” the Japanese photographer Toshiki Nakanishi engages the Daisetsuzan mountain range in search of untouched, pristine nature that has escaped categorization and colonization by human concepts.

“Nakanishi photographed his latest series New Land in the mountains of the Daisetsuzan National Park in central Hokkaido, from Mt. Asahi to Mt. Tokachi. Until 1845, when the Japanese explorer and cartographer Takeshiro Matsuura set out to survey the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Karafuto, and Ezo (later renamed to Hokkaido), the region was still known by the Ainu name Optateske. As the “roof of Hokkaido”, the Daisetsuzan National Park is home to the island’s largest peaks, many of which are active volcanoes. Because of the unique landscape and the beauty and diversity of the alpine flora, the Ainu also call these mountains the “Garden of the Gods.”
In Nakanishi’s photographs, the unspoiled natural landscapes seem as if they were taken on a distant planet. In the contrast of the lingering snow, the serene atmosphere, the expressiveness of the changing clouds, and other details, Nakanishi recognized the larger mechanisms of the universe. Although shot in black and white, we can hear the colors of the world singing to us through his photographs.”
― from Kazuko Sekiji’s afterword