Tokyo’s Compressed Subway Riders

Tokyo’s subway is infamous for its cramped conditions but the psychological effects of the uncompromising close human proximity experienced daily by thousands of workers are rarely depicted.  Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression captures the moment and reaction when individuals are forcefully sandwiched between their fellow commuters and the parameters of the carriage. Heads are bowed, sometimes contorted unwillingly into unnatural positions of supposed rest. Noses, fingers and knuckles are compressed against the glass, eyes are almost always shut.










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  • These works are currently on display as part of the Collective Identity | Occupied Spaces exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto.