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Photo Exhibition

‘The Systems That Shape Us’ by Aya Okawa

All About Photo is pleased to present The Systems That Shape Us by Aya Okawa

Part of the exclusive online showroom developed by All About Photo, this exhibition is on view for the months of February 2022 and includes seventeen photographs from the series ‘The Systems That Shape Us’


We may tune out – or stop noticing – the infrastructure and systems that most deeply shape our lives as individuals and societies. As we go about our daily routines, do we consider the structures in place that put power in our electrical sockets, food in our grocery stores, plastic in our consumables, or salts in our batteries?

Aquaculture, 2017 © Aya Okawa

As a photographer & visual anthropologist, when I started flying in small planes I was struck by how tiny our all-important lives actually looked from above, when moments ago the concerns of the terrestrial life had seemed so all encompassing. Flying above my own town, I was duly shocked by how little I actually knew about the area that I had lived in for years – I drove around and explored on foot (or so I thought) – only to realize that all it took to keep a site out of view was something as insignificant as a 6 foot tall fence, a gate, or even nothing at all, in many cases. From above, I could see massive caverns gauged into the earth by bulldozers, vast stretches of electrical lines and transformer stations, landfills sprawling across hilltops, and industrial plants belching into water sources. Much of this I had never noticed or given much thought to.

Power, centered 2021 © Aya Okawa

I became fascinated by capturing and studying images of the infrastructure around my community, and those of communities globally – visually investigating the infrastructure that we may not heed in our everyday lives, and exploring the human-made systems that define the foundations of our societies, cultures and economies. In this exploration I was mesmerizee by the beauty in the patterns that emerged – in both the human-made & natural ecosystems – and my goal is to share this sense of awe and curiosity with others through this series. These photos were made in cities throughout the United States, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, & Belgium.

Photo Exhibition Details
Title: The Systems That Shape Us by Aya Okawa
Start Date: 01-02-2022 • End Date: 28-02-2022
Venue: All About Photo (United States)

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Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

Sandrine Hermand-Grisel is a professional photographer who specializes in Fine Art Photography. She grew up in Paris, France and in London, UK before she moved to the United States with her family in 2006. She decided to use her knowledge of the photography world to become the curator of the website, All About Photo, which she founded in 2013. Much more than a cultural agenda, All About Photo is a source of information for photographers as well as a showcase platform for talented artists.

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