As a child I was transplanted from my home in Sheffield to Japan in the late 1980s, where I lived for eight months at the height of what became known as ‘Baburu Keiki’; the ‘bubble’ era. During this period Tokyo’s real estate alone was estimated to be worth as much as half of the United States, and Japanese technology and business looked certain to rule the world for the foreseeable future, resulting in a series of anxious Hollywood films (Black Rain, Rising Sun, Karate Kid III) and books about how to do business the Japanese way. I returned to Japan for the first time as an adult in 2013 to witness a postmodern landscape in stasis - the same place that had once signified the future, was now symbolic of a failed past, or a ‘retro future’. I return to Japan as often as I can with the old family camera, a Konica Z-up 80RC, and collect expired Konica film (the corporation was one of the victims of the asset price crash during Japan’s subsequent ‘lost decades’). The camera date function began in 1988 and won’t set beyond 2019. The film and the camera yield unpredictable results, warping the past and glitching the present, with a kind of seance taking place, producing an ambiguous series of images lost in time.
© Johny Pitts Photography