Damien Drew: ‘Shikoku no Seijaku’ photography exhibit

Damien Drew: ‘Shikoku no Seijaku’ photography exhibit
Image: Imaged provided. Credit: Damien Drew


Damien Drew’s Shikoku no Seijaku (or Shikoku Silence) exhibition invites viewers to view the drastic effects of Japan’s declining population and younger generations’ migration to larger cities through his evocative imagery of Shikoku, Japan’s least populous landmass. 

The serene, yet haunting, landscapes display deserted, elementary schools and empty highways that remain largely abandoned and unused. 

Drew’s acclaimed photography captures the once-vibrant communities and the slow disappearance of human touch. The selections unveil moments of beauty in unexpected locations and re-frame the loss and decay as an opportunity for reflection. 

Damien Drew expresses that his goal for Shikoku no Seijaku is to “capture the melancholic beauty that remains in the wake of the region’s pronounced social change”. 

This is a continuation of his exploration of the Japanese philosophy ‘wabi-sabi’, which Drew says “celebrates the transient beauty found in the impermanence of all things. 

“Even though my images may depict the decline of these communities in part, I view my work as both a celebration and memorialisation of what remains.”

Damien Drew
Image supplied. Credit: Damien Drew

Damien Drew is an award-winning art director, trained architect and acclaimed photographer. He has received recognition from the Urbanautica Institute of Visual Anthropology and ranked “Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers” in 2022 by Capture Magazine for his Shikoku series.

Through these stunning pieces, the photographer has truly illuminated rural Japanese ‘ghost towns’, offering a visual journey and broader reflection on these remote locations. 

Shikoku no Seijaku (Shikoku Silence) will be on display from July 17th to August 11th at the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf. 

The opening for the public will be from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday, July 17th.  Admission is free. 

More information can be found at https://www.woollahragallery.com.au/

The address is: 548 New South Head Road, Double Bay NSW 2028

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