1983-1986. LANDSCAPES. suburbs of Tokyo
I took pictures of my town with the large format (4x5) and panorama camera. I published "LANDSCAPES" in 1986, for which the award of new talented photographer of Photographic Society of Japan was given in 1987.

"Empty hill"
I personally call a semi-desert like area of land cleared for a housing project on the western outskirts of the Tama New Town the "empty hill". There is absolutely nothing on this "empty hill". It's natural features and history have all been burned as rubbish.

These work are requiems about the identity that disappeared. by Norio KOBAYASHI. A question from Mental Contagion.

Question : Your Japanese Landscapes series was published as a book and won the prestigious New Artist Prize from the Photographic Society of Japanese in 1987. From 1970 to 2000, you managed to capture scenes of the desolate "wasteland" that once was, and as time passed, (30 years) you captured scenes of construction, destruction and, finally, suburban life. Identity and objectivity are the themes throughout the evolution of this project. Can you explain this further? At what point did you realize the importance of this project?

Norio : I made my debut as a photographer with the Japanese Landscapes series. At the time, I wanted to shoot landscapes objectively, using large format camera and color film. My intent was to be objective, rather than artistic. I overlapped myself with the situation of destroyed nature and disappearing identity. "Empty" and "blank" were the themes of this project. I might photograph the same place with a digital camera again someday.

LANDSCAPES, 1983-1986. 東京郊外