Seiya Bowen graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BFA in 2014. Bowen’s work deals with personal identity and the cultural and social framework that coerce personal distinctiveness. He has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in publication and venues such as SITE Santa Fe Museum, and Center for Fine Arts Photography, Fraction Magazine and PDN. Bowen currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rural towns in Japan are in crisis. The traditional lifestyle in these fishing and agricultural communities can no longer support the younger generations who are drawn to larger cities for economic and cultural reasons.
This migration left these desolate towns populated by a handful of older very traditional people, who have lived in these towns their entire lives, as their parents before them had done. Each summer for over a decade I return to my childhood home in Japan, and with every visit I am further aware of the diminishing town and the recent developments of infrastructure. I watch as mountains are being excavated to construct highways and bullet trains through my home town in order to make the commute between larger cities more efficient.
The construction of these concrete passages have scarred the landscape permanently and in short time, my home will disappear. Conscious of the undeniable fate of my home I am photographing this town to preserve and remember its existence- both personally and culturally.
The photographs examine the deterioration of a once active community and the new modern edifice that are built in its wake.
To view more of Seiya’s photographs, please visit his website.