Jonathan Castro


Known as one of the forefathers of Japanese erotica, Toshio Saeki (1945-2019) created an undeniably influential and complicated body of work that blended erotic themes, humour and ghoulish horror. Accessing the darkest depths of his subconscious, he was able to create authentic nightmare scenarios without boundaries that vividly depict what went on in his head as soon as he closed his eyes.

Jump the rusted stiles when no one is looking. From here, the way is downward. Past the dried-up canal, past the metal sheds, down further through the empty overpass with its coarse concrete walls. At the bottom, there’s a small pond of standing water—a reservoir, a dull mirror for the sun, casting the green in a radiant glow. 

Look closely for a while. Train your eyes on the glare of the surface. Perhaps you will begin to see the opposite of your descent. The water becomes its own underside. Spindly white lines shoot upwards, pushing past the minerals, the heavy metals and the plastic remains. These are the roots of the ruderal species, the hardiest, the weeds and invasives. Like craftsmen, they take whatever they can use. 

The city eats itself, again and again. There will always be another boundary to jump. Along other canals, down the slopes of railway embankments, between demolition sites, the radiance of a thousand other empty zones already shines.