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About The Artist

Maki Hayashida (b.1984, Japan) is a visual artist based in Tokyo. She works between conceptual and documentary photography, interested in exploring social landscapes. 

Her subject matters are derived from observations of people's behaviour in consumer society, influenced by her long career in marketing in the Japanese advertising industry. She also investigates the balance between information and poetry in contemporary photography, challenging to indicate the present that most of us would rather ignore.

In 2014, she began her professional career as a photographer after her self-made photobook, “JAPAN-GO-ROUND,” produced at Reminders Photography Stronghold workshop in Tokyo, received international acclaim. She has been shortlisted for the LUMA Rencontres Dummy Book Award in 2023 as well as awarded the Grand Prix at Dummy Book Award of Singapore International Photography Festival in 2020. Her work has been exhibited internationally and domestically, including Singapore International Photography Festival (2016), FORMAT International Photography Festival (2019), and KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival KG+SELECT (2021).

She is currently completing the MA in Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, challenging to present her photographic body of work as a form of installation.

The River Thames B (Experimental work for Water Wonderland) | 2023
By Maki Hayashida(林田真季)
Hand-coloured gelatin silver print on vintage bromide paper | Unique | 30.5cm x 25.4cm

The work is from an ongoing series, “Water Wonderland”, which looks at unintended consequences of consumer society, by reflecting historic coastal landfill sites in the United Kingdom. Shown on the map by the UK Environmental Agency, many of them are now nature reserves or parks.

A historic landfill site refers to one where there is no Pollution Prevention and Control permit or waste management licence currently in force. The contents of most such landfills are not clearly known and are likely to contain hazardous chemicals. Among them, more than 1,000 sites are defined as historic coastal landfills and are at risk of flooding and erosion. This means that inundation of landfill sites could release diffuse pollution into rivers and the marine environment, of which risk is further increased by climate change. At the same time, however, it should be noted that these sites are fraught with uncertainty due to incomplete and limited records. Furthermore, the uncertainty suggests that it could be anywhere.

In response to this uncertainty, I used a range of techniques, including hand-coloured black and white photography, to depict the subject matter of this project. Combined as a photographic series, the images construct a fictive ‘wonder-land’, where I expect the viewer to wonder about the unintended consequences of their own.

The title is a reference to Winter Wonderland in London as representative of consumerism in the UK. It is also a reference to Lewis Carol’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

This body of work is my MA project focusing on the image-making process and will be completed at the end of 2023.