We all know that Japanese are creative about almost everything they do, but we have do admit it, we really didn’t see this one coming! To transform mundane objects into works of art – that’s one, but to create an entire trend around it, well, that’s a totally different story. For those of you who pay a special interest in this country, you ought to know that in Japan there’s a peculiar obsession with manhole covers. With more than 6.000 artistic manhole covers, Japan is once more one of the most surprising places you’ll ever visit. Passionate about photography, S. Morita started a journey around Japan, looking (down) for artsy manhole covers that pedestrians walk across everyday.
Morita’s photography collection includes a stunning array of colourful “artworks”. Each manhole cover photographed features distinctive details: flowers, trees, birds and other carved symbols that highlight the specificity of a certain municipality/ region. Believe it or not, this phenomenon started almost 35 years ago, when a bureaucrat in the construction ministry suggested municipalities to design their own manhole covers, to simply reduce costs. Since then, the unusual “hysteria” inspires artists to create and stylise beautiful and vivid manhole covers everyday.