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FUKUOKA — More than 100 years of mining has given the town of Tagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, a masculine, working-class character, with widespread associations of gangs and violent crime. Abandoned concrete plants and mines line its hilly outskirts, and a coat of dust covers its many boarded-up shops. Tagawa is also a quiet place, with a noticeably aging population.

It was this cultural richness, a contrast to the ghost towns left in the former mining regions of his native Hokkaido, that initially intrigued artist Tadashi Kawamata and led to five years of work in the town.

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