The ruined concrete coasts of the Black Sea reminded Komaváry of the coasts of the Japanese sea ruined by the concrete.

“I admit that after the title and the first line I expected the Japanese coast. The Japanese coast which, after the two great dangers (earthquake and tsunami) is also threatened by the third one: that of being slowly washed away by the sea.

This is why it has to be covered with concrete all around the island, this is why it has to be scattered all over with concrete blocks. Because concrete protects. Even if we already know that concrete promotes erosion. But the factory has been already built, the command is issued, and the concrete is slowly devouring the shores.”

The pictures quoted by him are from the blog Unfamiliar Japan by Ojisanjake – “artist, writer, photographer, mask-maker, tour guide, gardener, walker, anarchist, freegan” – which with short and meditative posts, beautiful images and great attention gives news about a rarely seen and attractive Japan.

Among the posts a particular group is dedicated to “tetrapods”, the concrete blocks of various forms used to control coastal erosion. More than half of Japan’s coastline is covered by such blocks.

Ojisanjake cannot afford to stress how harmful this amount of concrete is to the environment, not to speak about aesthetics – while he extracts beautiful images out of them.

Is it the endless repetition of geometric forms that makes so compellingly abstract and immaterial the same material which shows its worst side along the Black Sea? Or is it the photographer who, despite all his aversion, sees the beauty even in it?

Moreover, the concrete here seems to achieve something that in Europe never can do: to age beautifully.

Ojisanjake: „Concrete Wabi sabi” series:
TetrapodsTetrapods 2Virgin tetrapodsStepsMore stepsMountainsides

4 comentarios:

Elena dijo...

Wonderful photos! Thank you for sharing, I love this blog!

Studiolum dijo...

Grazie, Elena. Non è mio merito – qui ho solo ripetuto ciò che qualcuno ha fatto e qualcun altro, accorgendosene, mi ha raccontato. Sono soltanto l’ultimo anello della catena…

Effe dijo...

quando la catena è circolare (e la Rete questo è) non c'è un anello ultimo, né primo, non ci sono periferie, ma infiniti centri.

Douglas Kretzmann dijo...

Those "tetrapods" are derived from the South African dolosse, which I remember seeing on the East London harbor walls from the beach where we swam.

They are on most harbors in S. Africa now, but I had no idea the Japanese coast was paved with them. Every time I see them in a different ocean it raises echoes and ripples from my childhood, and my engineer brother who has deployed them.

The word dolos itself has a disputed history. Wikipedia's account is good:
"Their name is derived from the Afrikaans word dolosse. This word has two given derivations. Rosenthal states it to be a contraction of 'dobbel osse', or 'gambling' (Afrikaans) 'bones' (Latin). Boshof and Nienaber state it to be a contraction of 'dollen os', or 'play' (old Dutch) 'oxen' (Afrikaans). The first is a meaning-shifted reference to ox knuckle-joint bones used in divination practices by sangomas, Southern African traditional healers. They somewhat resemble these bones. The second is a reference to ox or lamb knuckle bones used by African children at play."