Photographer Wanders Streets of Japan to Create Tribute to Cyberpunk Culture

Stefano Gardel Night Photography

Inspired by films like Blade Runner and Akira, photographer Stefano Gardel took to the streets of Osaka and Tokyo to create a narrative about a nostalgic, dystopian society. To shoot this series, titled Neon Future, Gardel found himself wandering the streets of these metropolises at night and used his camera to create a stark vision of the future. By mixing photos taken on rooftops with images shot from the street, Gradel builds a story where humans feel small and alone.

With its skyscrapers and neon lights, Japan makes a perfect setting for these cyberpunk photographs. The lack of human presence in Gardel's photos makes each frame look like a film set just waiting to be filled with activity. This stripped-down look at the urban environment only adds to the ominous feeling that the photographer was after.

“I wanted to recreate the sense of longing and separation of a futuristic dystopia that has lost connection with the natural elements,” Gardel writes. “A vibrant but nostalgic mood aware of its own decadence.”

For the Italian photographer, who is based in Switzerland, the trip was a chance to execute his vision and pay tribute to cyberpunk culture. Using light and color to create a specific mood, he was easily able to create balanced compositions that are aesthetically pleasing and cohesive as a whole.

Italian photographer Stefano Gardel photographs Osaka and Tokyo at night in a tribute to Cyberpunk culture.

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Stefano Gardel: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Stefano Gardel.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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