American kitsch, Japanese style

Guido Castagnoli's photographs of provincial Japan appear strangely familiar
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Guido Castagnoli, Amusement Structure (2007), Yaizu City, Japan

1 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Amusement Structure (2007), Yaizu City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Amusement Structure#2 (2007), Yaizu City, Japan

2 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Amusement Structure#2 (2007), Yaizu City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Karaoke (2007), Shimada City, Japan

3 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Karaoke (2007), Shimada City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, American Used Cars (2007), Shimada City, Japan

4 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, American Used Cars (2007), Shimada City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Beauty Salon (2007), Shimada City, Japan

5 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Beauty Salon (2007), Shimada City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Crossroad (2007), Shizuoka City, Japan

6 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Crossroad (2007), Shizuoka City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Electric Shop (2007), Shimada City, Japan

7 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Electric Shop (2007), Shimada City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Parking Lot (2007), Shizuoka City, Japan

8 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Parking Lot (2007), Shizuoka City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Street to the Main Station (2007), Shimada City, Japan

9 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Street to the Main Station (2007), Shimada City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Struck Out (2007), Shimada City, Japan

10 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Struck Out (2007), Shimada City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Parking Lot (2007), Yaizu City, Japan

11 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Parking Lot (2007), Yaizu City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Taxi (2007), Shimada City, Japan

12 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Taxi (2007), Shimada City, Japan

Guido Castagnoli, Toy Shop (2007), Shimada City, Japan

13 / 13 Guido Castagnoli, Toy Shop (2007), Shimada City, Japan


Far from the stereotypes of contemporary Japan - the overcrowded, rapidly expanding techno-cities - Genoa based Guido Castagnoli's Provincial Japan series of photographs depict an atmosphere of quiet and calm.

The setting of Shizuoka district may be unfamiliar to western audiences but the subjects, composition and absence of people is reminiscent of the work of American photographers such as Stephen Shore - particularly in his road trip series.

Shooting his first photographs on an old family Leica camera, Castagnoli left his position as an art director at an advertising agency in Milan to pursue photography full time in 2001. His interest in advertising and signage has not decreased, as is evident by the focus of his photographs in which the use of graphics, posters and billboards predominate.


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