Japan is often thought of as a place where the modern world and ancient traditions meet in surprising and fascinating ways. The rapid pace of techlogical, social and cultural change throughout the 20th century propelled the country forward but left countless establishments, industries and entire towns deserted. Through his photography Jordy Meow explores these forgotten places and sheds light on a lost world that was thriving just a few decades ago. Abandoned Japan documents famed ruins (haikyo in Japanese) such as Gunkanjima, the island featured in the Bond movie Skyfall, which once had a population of over 5,000 but is w completely abandoned, and the Disneyland-inspired Nara Dreamland theme park. Beyond these well-kwn sites, Jordy Meow also takes us on a journey through every aspect of a rapidly disappearing past: from schools and hospitals to industrial sites and nightlife, including strip clubs and love hotels. The ruins captured here range from the quaint and serene to the dark and nightmarish. Some have an atmosphere reminiscent of the animation films of Studio Ghibli while others seem almost dystopian. These places show that people can leave a lasting mark on their environment but, given the chance, nature finds its way back.
Born in France in 1982, Jordy Meow studied in China software engineering. He eventually moved to Tokyo in 2008 to pursue an engineering career and started to work on his photography seriously. His pursuits have led him to make several trips to the abandoned island of Gunkanjima and one brief visit to North Korea. Saddened by the atmosphere he was seeing in most photos of haikyo at that time, he felt compelled to share his own which were charged-up with the feelings he experienced while exploring those places. He made haikyo (abandoned places in Japan) his first serious photography project. Today, he continues to spend most of his free time in search of offbeat and beautiful landscapes and runs projects related to photography and software engineering. On sunny week-days, you can usually find Jordy daydreaming in the park, listening to the wind, and taking pictures of cats. He keeps his updated portfolio on http://www.meow.fr.