Eiji Ohashi
in Maria


Roadside Lights

Eiji Ohashi, Sapporo (Japon) | eijiohashi.com/en

Eiji Ohashi relentlessly pursues the vending machines that can be found all over Japan, even in the most remote and unusual places. He sees these machines as a reflection of human beings. Through them, he questions the values of Japanese society, which seeks comfort to the point of absurdity.

Over the years, Ohashi, sometimes returning to the places he’s photographed before, has noticed the disappearance of some machines and the appearance of new ones in more strategic locations: vending machines, like humans, must continue to work, to shine and to be profitable in order to survive.

For this exhibition, we wanted to bring these vending machines, in the form of light boxes, into the Canadian landscape, in order to give viewers the same glowing sensation of these unusual solitary machines.

Exhibition at Rencontres

Roadside Lights

Eiji Ohashi was born in 1955 in Wakkanai, the northernmost region of Japan. Until the age of 54, he worked as a salaryman, selling insurance for the Japanese post office. A keen mountaineer, he discovered photography when scaling the Himalayas in his late twenties.

It was only in 2010 that he decided to become a fulltime photographer. It was around then that, as he made his way home one evening, caught in a snowstorm and disoriented, the lights from drink dispensers along the road enabled him to find his way again. Since then, relentlessly, he’s tracked those machines, which are everywhere in Japan.

Eiji Ohashi’s Roadside Lights was rewarded with the prestigious Higashikawa Prize in 2018.