The world that Rohan Hutchinson describes in his new series of beautifully sparse, large-scale photographs is one of subtle tension and dichotomy. Indeed, Kamikawa Sub-Prefecture is a world all but swallowed in foreground and backdrop of pure white.
The only interruption, the only whisper of civilisation, is a linear thread – a horizon – of humble architectural structures.
“I’m interested in Japanese designer Kenya Hara, who wrote about white representing purity and emptiness and the idea that as soon as you bring in something else, chaos is introduced,” says Hutchinson. “The only way of neutralising the chaos is by using a linear form and symmetry.”
It’s a quality that echoes throughout Hutchinson’s new body of work, which was shot in a rural region of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. No matter how orderly they seem, the meagre structures that sprout from the opaque landscapes are incursions nonetheless. And it in the sensibilities of these structures that Hutchinson’s interests lie.
“I’m interested geographical and economical constraints in building parameters, and the ways in which those constraints affect the aesthetics and longevity of structures placed in the environment,” he says.
In this sense, a region’s architecture can tell a much broader story. “I guess my work just documents spaces as they change,” says the former skateboarding photographer, who sees his work inhabiting a space between documentary and abstract photography.
“I’m interested in the transformation of the architectural space and how it represents that of its developers.”
Kamikawa Sub-Prefecture opens November 4 and runs until November 27 at Colour Factory.