In July 2015, MAKIKO was granted rare permission to photograph the restricted zone of Battleship Island, which used to be a coalmine, shortly after it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island lies just off the coast of Nagasaki. Ringed by a seawall, and covered in tightly packed buildings, it was once the most densely populated place on Earth. Now it is a ghost town – completely uninhabited for more than forty years.

In the book, archive photographs break the eerie silence of the island’s contemporary landscape and through the memories of a former resident of the island, MAKIKO brings her imagination to bear on what life was like there as a child – a place described to her as a childhood paradise.

The island also featured as a haunting backdrop in 007 Skyfall.

About Artist

MAKIKO is an international photographer and author who has lived, studied and worked in Japan, France, North America, Switzerland and the UK. She studied at International Center of Photography in New York and since 2006 her work has been exhibited in Japan, North America and Europe. A diverse image-maker that understands the power of the medium in various forms, she is best known for her black and white photography.

She is originally from an island, used to live in an island in the Atlantic ocean, now lives in the UK. As her main interests are in socio-economic issues and nature, her recent projects were shot in uninhabited islands as well as other islands.

After having successful solo exhibitions on Gunkanjima at Bunkamura and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan) late 2017, she published the series entitled “BATTLESHIP ISLAND” (ISBN: 9781911306221) from Dewi Lewis Publishing.

In addition, she has continuous exposure to challenges in mental health as a mother. In 2014, she published “Beautifully Different” (ISBN: 9781783063895), a book on high-functioning autism in collaboration with Dr. Landa from Kennedy Krieger Institute (U.S.A.) and it was re-published as “Jiheisho Spectrum” (ISBN: 9784537213690) by Nihon Bungeisha in Japan.

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Dewi Lewis Publishing


116 pages
26cm x 18cm x 1.2cm

Edition of 600