Artist: Martin Bailey
Description: This was the last frame of a roll of 120 film on which I shot a short one-day project to depict Tokyo in the shadow of the Corona Virus. I tried to show the relative emptiness compared to the usual hussle and bussle of the city.
I visit a hospital in the heart of Tokyo every three months, and my first two visits of 2020 were luckily timed either side of the first wave of Corona victims. Our lockdown was over, so I decided to take my Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex camera with a roll of 120 film which I loaded on the train on the way out. The trains are still relatively empty here, which is strange in itself, but having no-one in front of me on what are usually crowded escelators is both sad and liberating. The streets were sparsely populated too, and my memory of the day was enriched by taking my camera, and trying to make something worth keeping with all twelve frames. I saved the last frame for the train shot, but then regretted not having an extra frame for a self-portrait in the black train window as we trundled through the tunnels under Tokyo. This in itself was a poignent reminder of the current situation, as usually I wouldn't be able to see myself in the window because of the crowds of people in front of me. I hope that the human race is strong enough to try to make our world a better place after the virus. For many, I believe our values have changed, and many of those changes are for the better, but this came at a huge cost. It would be a shame and an insult to those that fell victim to the virus for us to simply recreate the pre-virus world in its aftermath.