1

Your cart is empty.

*Orders may take up to 2 weeks before shipping, and mail carriers are experiencing delays. Your package may take longer than usual to arrive. Thank you for your patience and support :)

Product Image Yasuyuki Takagi: Ueki - Petits Pots et Jardins

Yasuyuki Takagi: Ueki - Petits Pots et Jardins

At first it may appear that the streets of Tokyo, that grey urban jungle, may be a unique home to nature. Yet nature is present in Tokyo in almost every corner – in quite unique ways. It is not found in the parks (Tokyo only offers 5 sqm of park for each citizen, compared to New York’s 25sqm). In Tokyo, nature is introduced by the citizens themselves, in small and large pots placed in front of buildings, in walkways, alleys, balconies, forming a rhythmic composition of asphalt and green.

Japanese photographer Yasuyuki Takagi has captured these scenes while walking through various residential areas of Tokyo. His book “Ueki”, originally published by French Publisher iKi Editions in 2015, quickly sold out and will now be made available again in the form of a new publication by Japanese publisher Libro Arte.

Photographing the relationship between humans and the natural world has been a theme I have explored for the past 25 years or so. As a city boy, the deep natural world was always attractive and yet somewhat foreign to me. That all changed during the six months I lived in Brazil and my experiences there with the land and the peoples brought me to the Amazon Forest. I was mesmerized by the fragrant, lush forests and the unbelievable density of the nature. It made sense to me then that all the human problems on the planet are mostly caused from some sort of power struggles involving land ownership, deforestation, and the expansion of humans.

In New York City, where I lived for 22 years, my interest was primarily focused on abandoned lots and community gardens. Places where boxes of land gave some greenery in an urban jungle. These types of green spaces really existed in the most organic forms. Weeds eventually claimed the empty lots, encapsulating even the occasional rusted car. Community gardens, cared for by the benevolence of neighbors, gave city dwellers some reprieve from the concrete.

In Tokyo, where I grew up and spent most of my youth, and where I live today, there is a persistence of concrete growth, but nature tries; there are street gardens or spaces where potted plants line small alleys, buildings and homes. The “human made” nature that individuals and communities care for and nourish are often in places of demolition due to modern developments and thus, with these developments, we are moving away from a more traditional ways of life.

Japanese people have a long history of rituals and relationships with nature, which are expressed through art; such as carefully tended gardens, flower arrangements (ikebana), poetry, paintings and bonsai. The seasonal viewing of nature remains popular even to this day. Much literature has been produced throughout history about these topics, though most of these arts are practiced by a very small portion of the population and very few new gardens are made today.

During the Edo Period, when peace was established between Feudal Lords, Japan came together and the country united. Samurai Lords found other ways to spend their time and enjoy life. Potted plants were one outlet that emerged out of this time and people shared seasonal plants among each other. The potted plants in front of homes still creates a sense of aesthetic and connection to community. Plant life essentially connects people.

If you imagine 100 years or more from now, when people look back at our time and see how we connected with nature, it is probably the bohemian street gardens more so than ikebana or bonsai. Community, group driven natural environments, that hold nature and humans together in a shared experience. Even this is threatened to some communities now as expensive real estate development replaces these fixtures of urban life. I believe that this way of sharing nature deserves to have its own history book before this too vanishes. I call this book UEKI.

― Statement from Yasuyuki Takagi

Softcover, 25 × 20 cm, Japan.

*COVID-19 Notice: Order processing is slower than usual at this time due to safety and logistical issues surrounding the pandemic. In addition, mail carriers have informed us that shipping times are not guaranteed, and in some cases have been significantly delayed. Unfortunately these delays are out of our control. Thank you in advance for your patience. 

We really appreciate you shopping with us.  Below are our general policies.  We do our best to make our customers happy, so if you have a concern please feel free to contact us :)

Shipping

  • All shipping time frames are not guaranteed—after we hand your package to the mail service or shipping company, we are unable to control unforeseen delays on their end.
  • We ship orders out Mon-Fri, often same day if possible—but please allow 1-8 business days for processing. Most packages are sent via US Postal Service with delivery confirmation.
    • TELFAR BAGS may take even longer than the above time frame during this time, up to 2 weeks to process and send out from our office due to high order volumes.  Priority shipments will be processed first, but ALL orders are shipping slower than usual.
  • Please make sure your shipping address and contact info are correctly entered at checkout. Unless you specify to us that you want to pay to fully insure your package, we are not liable for loss or damage. Shipping charges are non-refundable.
  • US (Domestic) shipping is calculated by order total. Standard shipping usually takes 2-9 business days, depending on destination. Priority and Express options are available at checkout for additional fees.
ORDER TOTAL STANDARD SHIPPING
 $0.00-$24.99 $4.95 
$25.00-$49.99 $6.50
$50.00-$99.99 $7.50
$100.00-$149.99 $10.00
$150 and up $12.00

 

 

  • TELFAR bag orders have separate shipping fees which are automatically calculated at checkout.  

International Customers

  • Customs fees may apply depending on tariff rules in your country. Your country's customs office may in rare cases delay the arrival of your package beyond our control. The customer is responsible for any fees or taxes added by their country's customs office.
  • International shipments are sent via US Postal Service and rates are calculated by total order weight in order to best approximate actual charges. 
    • First Class International (transit time varies ~7-21 days or longer), limited tracking and no insurance
    • Priority International (6-10 business days from shipping date), tracking and limited insurance
    • Express International (3-5 days business days from shipping date), tracking and full insurance
    • Please keep in mind we are not liable for loss or damage in the mail if you select an option without insurance and tracking.  We recommend insuring and tracking whenever possible.
    • If you don't see your country on the shipping options list or have any other special requests on how you'd like us to handle your shipment, just contact us before or at the time of placing your order and we'll do our best to help.   :)

    Returns/Exchanges 

    Because of the tiny nature of our operation, we apologize for our limited return policy.

    • No returns on books, music, artwork and objects, accessories, and general merchandise, aside from defective items. Unworn clothing and shoes bought online may be exchanged or returned within 7 days of receipt, unless otherwise specified.
    • Returns are only accepted if you notify us within 7 days of receipt of the item and return it to us within 14 days of the order ship date. Goods must be in perfect unworn/unused condition with all original packaging intact. The customer is responsible for outbound and return shipping costs, which are non-refundable. If store credit is issued, it is valid for one year from the issue date.
    • We also cannot accept returns on sale items. Some sale items are the last copy and may have experienced some wear and tear. Discounts take into account for any damage but if you have any questions about the condition of a particular item, please email us.

    Thank you in advance for understanding!

    Privacy Policy

    • All customer information collected by us through our online shop will only be used for the purposes of fulfilling and delivering your orders, and customer service. If you choose to sign up for our mailing list, we will only use that information to send you occasional announcements related to Ooga Booga.  
    • We will never share or sell your information to any third parties or use it for any outside marketing purposes.  
    • Should you ever wish to unsubscribe or opt out of our mailing list, simply fill out the form on our website to unsubscribe, or send us an email to be removed.  

    Please feel free to ask us any questions about a product or the ordering process!