Book review of Project UrbEx by Ikumi Nakamura

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Adventure, anyone? While Ikumi Nakamura is best known as a Japanese video game artist and developer with an interest in horror and mystery, she has another fascinating side. As Project UrbEx: Adventures in Ghost Towns, Wastelands and Other Forgotten Worlds reveals, she’s also a fearless, adventurous photographer who has long traveled the world to explore and capture unusual and hidden locations. (For the uninitiated, UrbEx is short for urban exploration, a sometimes-dangerous pastime exploring structures and abandoned ruins in the human-made environment.)

This volume includes images from Nakamura’s explorations in North America, Europe and Asia accompanied by short, evocative essays and captions by Cam Winstanley, written based on interviews with Nakamura. The photos range from an old Italian garment factory, a decaying theme park in Bali nearly overgrown with lush vegetation, and the ruins of military planes baking in the Mojave Desert sun. A few depict Nakamura herself in precarious positions as she attempts to capture a shot.

It is unfortunate that the text is printed in neon orange, which readers may find difficult to read. Otherwise, this beautifully designed book is an intriguing conversation starter that may inspire photographers to undertake their own explorations.

 

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