Suna no Shiro

The underground is dead quiet. People – dressed in suits, dresses, school uniforms and costumes – starring on their phones or sleeping in an upright position. They seem to be tired, very exhausted. It‘s 5pm and I am slowly trying to wake up in my tiny room. For two months I have tasted a freedom that the whole of society is craving for, but never achieves. It’s fairly paradoxical since society would collapse if everybody led a life in excess. As I get off Shinjuku station the lights, music and sounds, followed by people with signs, try to catch my attention on every corner. Hundreds of people move in a stream, each one for himself. Everywhere I look I see consumption. Everything has been reduced to a product to be bought. I walk past host and hostesses lingering in the streets next to black guys from Nigeria who aggressively offer affection or sex in cuddles-bars, host-bars and soap-lands. I‘ve learned to be rude and ignore them completely to make my way to Suna no shiro (castle of sand). Suna is tucked away in a dark narrow alleyway which I only enter because I am in Tokyo and feel completely safe. There is a Ramen shop at the corner and I pass a Chinese take away before a flashy red wallpaper leads me to the entrance of Suna. Climbing up to the second and third floor I enter a parallel world. The tiny bar on eight square meters is packed. In dim light crossdresser Kathy is serving drinks to the sound of Babymetal. The room is filled with smoke and laughter. The crowed is engaged in heated discussions, dancing and hugging. Everybody is in an euphoric state as Haiku-master Tsubasa is back from work and puts on his snake suit to start the party. Occasionally one of us would go down to a Kombini to fetch some more booze and food. Time does not count anymore. Oftentimes I pass-out and sleep in Suna on the upper floor till lunchtime. Leaving Suna the bright sun light pinches my eyes. I head back home to get some rest and a shower before I dive into the next night.

Check out the book here.

Interview Leica Foto International

Interview British Journal of Photography