Hey, listen

Last night the bugs invited me
to join them for dinner in the
deep forests of western Tokyo.
What a wonderful place!
— foreword to “Tokyo Debugger”

Shinya Arimoto’s third publication with Tokyo-based publisher Zen Foto Gallery is a deep dive into the world of bugs, critters and insects. Shot between 2010 and 2019, Arimoto travelled to the mountainous areas of Okutama and Hinohara – far away from the city but still part of Tokyo Prefecture – to capture moths, mantises, worms, spiders, snakes, frogs and other animals up close. Brilliantly, Arimoto intersperses photographs of abandoned architecture as traces of past human activity, widening the scope of his series. For Arimoto, the city of Tokyo and these mountainous areas belong to different sides of the same coin, and insects – beings that clearly belong to a different realm of nature than us – transcend the boundaries between these sides, free to move back and forth between the two. Arimoto captured another world within Tokyo, dominated by the most successful creatives on the planet, unimpressed by the ongoing sprawl of the asphalt and cement megalopolis.

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