Naoya Hatakeyama’s stunning photographs use finely tuned modern techniques to discover harmonious beauty in places where we often perceive only competing layers of chaos. They filter our all-too-familiar environment, revealing its underlying complexity and, in the process, leading us to question the true “nature” of the world and our place in it.

This is a well-organized exhibition (at the Iwate Museum of Modern Art in Morioka until Sept. 16 before traveling to Osaka) which leads the viewer through the development of Hatakeyama’s ideas to the realization that man and nature are still inextricably linked; that the organic still lingers within the constructed. This chain of reasoning finds its finale in the dramatic shots of the “Lime Hills” series (1991-94), showing the raw material for our concrete jungles being blasted from the mountainside. Even our most ambitious constructions, we are reminded, will one day return to calcium carbonate dust.

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