Mexican artist, Natalie Sosa, explores Tokyo with a cautious yet inquisitive eye. Much of Removing the Veil of the Loneliest City began as a series of thoughts in March of 2020 as the pandemic brought the workd into hibernation. The resulting series became a year-long project that sought to tap into the emotionality of a city-center from a social behavior standpoint.
Surprisingly, the color and tone of the images are rich and dense. The fluorescent light from the street lamps and billboards illuminate an otherwise cool-toned architecture. But that’s where the density remains, even in the crowded city streets there’s sense of isolation. “The world was changing from one day to the next,” the artist recalls, “and I wanted to reveal how the people, including strangers and me personally were feeling at the moment with all the changes we were facing.” She continued to pose the question to herself in the development of that work: "How can I reveal how huge the city is? And how small it makes us feel in these moments of loneliness during COVID-19."
For Sosa, there’s an inherent remoteness in Tokyo's landscape, that was only amplified when the necessity of distance became important and the proximity to one another and actual intimacy remained out of reach. Some of the images, particularly the long exposures, the long shadows cast into a parked car, busy intersections bustling where crowds blur together feel vacant in new, transient kind of way. Without faces, the background becomes an anonymous blur of bodies with no one specific to latch onto. Even the images taken during the day, highlighting the manicured, landscaped qualities that are so common in Tokyo’s public spaces, are taken from a safety distance.