'This book “Tokyo Silence” is a collection of B&W photographs capturing the Tokyo street life between 2003 - 2006. Tokyo is thought to be one of the noisiest cities in the world, but through these photographs I want to show the other side of Tokyo - for me, this is a city where strange silence is prevailing in the depth of our life like water.
During that period I was crazy about traveling in China. In China, everywhere you look there is chaos. Shouts of people on the overcrowded streets, the squawking of car horns echoing in the grey sky, roaring voices from the loudspeakers scattered all over the cities - I really loved those Chinese street noises and I remember walking each day as if struck by lightning.
After getting used to such chaotic noises in China, the silence of Tokyo sounded very unique to me. Every time I came back to Tokyo, I wondered how could the city be so quiet? No one talks on the trains, no one shouts on the streets. Yes, Tokyo is a city of noise too, but I think the character of noise is inherently different between the two countries. Here in Tokyo, almost all of the noises are from autoplaying music such as background music from shops or video ads on huge screens. What would happen if all the autoplay music is suddenly muted? While walking on the Tokyo streets, sometimes I feel an illusion as if I were in the bottom of an aquarium, where a curious silence surrounds us.
Such a thought pushed me to shoot the Tokyo streets, with a monochrome film-loaded Leica in my hand. I wanted to capture such characteristic silence of Tokyo, and the silence settling down inside us deeply.'
- Yasuhiro Ogawa