TOKYO INFRASTRUCTURE Extra Edition: Doboku x Wall

Kimiko Sugiura is a photographer who takes images of walls and pillars, capturing a flattened image of the city’s infrastructure. Snapshots of massive infrastructure seen on a human scale reveal patterns of regularity as well as signs of aging.







Repeating patterns appear in the seams of structures. The left image is shows rivets holding together a part of the steel columns at the east exit of JR Asakusabashi Station. I originally thought the “A” referred to Asakusabashi, but I have never seen similar characters on the columns at any other stations, so it may have been painted on by someone later. The right image zooms in on the joint between steel plates on a pedestrian bridge over the Meguro River. Dirt and water had accumulated in the groove, and grass was surviving in this narrow patch of land.

“Enormous surface”



Old Iwabuchi Floodgate: Wall that supports the lock’s machine room


Old Iwabuchi Floodgate: Gate viewed from the west side

The old Iwabuchi Floodgate used to separate the Arakawa and Sumida Rivers. The new Iwabuchi Floodgate to the east is blue, so this structure is known as the “Red Floodgate.” There is a pathway alongside the gate that extends to the green space on the other side, where you can get a great view. To the left is a wall that supports the lock’s machine room. There is a steel plate on the concrete wall painted the same color as the gate, but it had begun to peel. The picture on the right shows the lock door from the west side. It’s easy to lose a sense of scale looking at this enormous surface.

“Surgical scars”



Ikejiriohashi Station: Repair marks


Ikejiriohashi Station: Hardware

These images show the traces of repairs to a concrete wall between the tracks at Ikejiriohashi Station on the Tokyu Denen Toshi Line. The wall on the left has holes around every 10 cm, and notes had been written in pink chalk. I have no idea what the numbers mean, and what sort of repairs were made. The right photo is of the same concrete wall. The cracks seem to have emerged from the fasteners, or perhaps the fasteners were added to stop the crack from spreading. The accumulating dust exposes the passage of time.

Photo ©Kimiko Sugiura

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