Oliver Banyard

Tokyo, Japan
VIDEO / PHOTO
oliverbanyard@gmail.com

This weekend I took a trip to Mt. Fuji with some friends. More photos to come…

Erwin Jadraque is a skateboarder from Hawaii. I got to hang out with him while he was skating at the Nike Miyashita skatepark in Shibuya. He told me about his dream to travel and skateboard around the world and his recently discovered faith.

MIDNIGHT LANDSCAPES-

At night the streets of Tokyo’s suburbs empty and the izakayas and karaoke outposts fill with businessmen that have no desire to return home to their nagging wives and sleeping children. This is Neverland. The places where men go to remain boys forever. While putting food on the table, and money in the pockets of their children whom they never see, they escape at night from their jobs, from their homes, to the haze of alcohol and cigarette smoke in the local restaurants to fraternize with their fellow boy. Never to be seen or heard of from their families. 

But 6am comes early and the stringent expectations of chiding bosses must be met. So the streets of suburbia remain silent lest a common conversation between two individuals walking by echoes into the living room or a home, waking the head of the household from his drunken-feverish sleep on the sexless couch of his marriage. 
All is silent in the streets of Tokyo’s suburbs at night. And what remains is a sense of eerie abandonment. Like a city left alone after a holocaust. Abandoned midnight landscapes. 

'DEVIN'

I managed to get a shoot in with Devin before he moved back to the States. Several years in Japan and now he’s on his way to California to start a new chapter. Wishing him the best and looking forward to when I paths cross again.

Many years ago on Toronto Island

Many years ago on Toronto Island

'Jimmy in Japan'

Harajuku Portraits

The past few weekends I have been hanging out in Harajuku taking photos and taking it all in. Activity in Japan never stops. Back rooms, basements, storefronts, and hidden lofts are seemingly infinite with different stories to participate in in each location. The streets are constant vacuum of movement made up of strangers who, eyes fixed firmly on cellphones, will likely never meet, let alone acknowledge that the other ever existed. 

These photos are mere snipets from some of the stories that are taking place every day in Harajuku; entire life narratives that of which I captured a split second. 

November 2013

My work was recently featured on AUX TV. 

"Toronto’s Ken Reaume a.k.a. Black Walls released one of my favourite albums of 2012 with the desolate one-man wilderness of Acedia. Pleasence Records is now gearing up for its follow-up, Communion, and has issued this short but skin-crawling teaser. In 51 seconds, the ominous images from director Oliver Banyard provide the perfect backdrop to Black Walls’ scorched-earth drone hovering from beyond. He who feeds on this bread will live forever…”

http://www.aux.tv/2013/11/7-of-the-best-past-and-present-video-you-mightve-missed-including-black-walls-chrome-and-more/

Check out Black Walls at:
http://blackwalls.bandcamp.com

'Powerful Times in Kensington'
Leftovers from the Kensington house 2010/2011.

'Powerful Times in Kensington'

Leftovers from the Kensington house 2010/2011.

One night last week, after walking around Tokyo all day, I stopped into a local bar for a drink. Unbeknownst to me, the bar was a “Darts Bar”. There are many of these lurking undercover in Japan; apparently trying to throw darts while inebriated is a popular pass time for the youth. 
The bar was empty and I struck up a conversation with the bartender thanks to a translation app on my phone. After stumbling our way along boundaries of small-talk and actual interesting conversation for the better part of thirty minutes Daichi and Mari stumbled loudly into the bar with a round of introductions - already both quite sauced up. 
Daichi, I found out is a painter who had work the next morning at 6am but seemed unfazed by the inevitable hangover he was adding to bottle after bottle. His lady friend, Mari, worked in real-estate and was the more coherent of the pair, though both were very friendly.
They smoked, drank, and tossed darts around for the better part of an hour. Then, as quickly as they’d swooshed in, they got up and left. Once again I found myself again sitting quietly with the bartender.