Belfast Exposed is presenting Michael Wolf’s iconic photo series Tokyo Compression which depicts the daily commute in Tokyo. The series is made up of portraits of people in the subway constrained between glass, steel and fellow travelers. The work is a fascinating study in the psychology of the modern commuter and the techniques people use to cope with the difficulty of this daily necessity. Tokyo Compression regards the subway as a metonym for contemporary life. It is a dystopian view of the pressures of daily working life in large cities, and in the globalized, market-driven, developed world more generally. The edit, which is concentrated on the passengers’ facial expressions and body language, moves the work from a straight documentary description of discomfort towards a dramatization of suffering. Tokyo Compression speaks of the alienation of the working masses. It queries ideas of community, enforced or otherwi

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