Stretching and reversing conventions for balancing foreground and background, one urban photographer in Tokyo is taking the Japanese concept of Bokeh to dazzling extremes.
Bokeh (which translates as ‘blur’) plays with a lens’s circle of confusion in which points of light become glowing discs, but instead of making the background fuzzy, Takashi Kitajima unexpectedly lets the foreground become the backdrop.
The result seems to highlight the chaos and movement of what is closest to the viewer’s perspective in a surreal but suggestive way that indirectly resonates with our actual experience of cities.
In turn, more distant monuments, buildings and bridges on the horizon or off to one side emerge as stable anchors, contrasted with a sea of light.
The net effect is something between a photograph and a watercolor or pastel painting, a fusion of concrete realism and playful abstraction.