Haikyo (廃墟) is a word meaning "ruins" in Japanese. The word also describes a hobby, known in English as Urban Exploration. This body of work is an ongoing project where I explore and Illuminates various ruins in the Southern California region of the United States.
Touching upon my documentary photography and communication studies background, I present this work as a grand narrative on the fall of the modern urban infrastructure and how the structures of man been reclaimed by nature. Another facet of these structures is how they have become a canvass for street artists in their own creative endeavors.
My work seeks to return these structures to a state of previous glory while accepting and appreciating their present existence. I follow a non-linear documentation of these spaces as these structures are presently dark and forgotten. My purpose is to revitalize each structure utilizing a combination of colors to highlight and transform various elements in each scene.
The resulting images are not manipulated digitally but rather lit through a physical and painstaking process at the time of exposure. Done entirely by hand, I achieve the colorful lighting effects in a scene with flashlights or strobes masked with theatrical gels to create a dramatic vision of a surreal world. Beyond the photography, my process is performative and interactive as I react to the scene as each image is created.
I have had the pleasure of showing my work in Los Angeles and New York and have had various pieces purchased by local and international collectors.
I personally print these images on Metal Plates through a sublimation process and each images is part of a limited run. Please inquire via email for purchasing details or for galleries currently showing my work.
© Samuel Bendall Photography