Hotel Okinawa

Greg Girard is a Canadian photographer who has spent the larger part of his career in Asia. His latest book, Hotel Okinawa, is a snapshot of Okinawan history and the legacy of U.S. military power, with photographs taken on U.S. military bases and their surroundings from 2008 to 2016. Supplemented by archival photographs, periodicals, and other historical materials, the book examines the changing social, historical, and physical landscape of a multilayered and complex region. In an excerpt from Hotel Okinawa below, Girard tells us more about the project.


加拿大摄影师Greg Girard在亚洲度过了他职业生涯的大部分时间。他最新出版的作品《Hotel Okinawa》(冲绳酒店),记录了日本冲绳的历史,以及美国在当地遗留下来的军事影响。书中主要包括了他在2008年至2016年期间在美军基地及其周围拍摄的照片,并辅以一些文献档案照片、期刊和其它史料。本书探讨了这个多层化的复杂地区中,不断变化的社会,历史和地理景观。在《Hotel Okinawa》中,Girard向我们介绍了这个项目。

Hazard to Aviation Checkerboard, Naha, 2008
Audrey Poster, 2008
A&W Drive-In, Route 58, 2016
Ginowan Overview, Dusk, 2009

“My first sighting of Okinawa came from the deck of a ferry, approaching the port of Naha after a 52-hour sailing from Tokyo. It was December 1982, and the tropical-ness I had looked forward to was nowhere to be found. I remember grey skies, rain, and cool temperatures. But I had long wanted to visit, hoping to see for myself what this Japanese honeymoon destination and U.S. military garrison island looked like.”


“我第一次看到冲绳是在一艘渡轮的甲板上,那是一艘从东京开往那霸港的渡轮,航程总共52小时。当时是1982年12月,我并没有看到预期中的热带景象。我只记得当时天空是灰暗的,下着雨,气温很凉爽。但我早就想来冲绳,希望能亲眼看看这个日本人蜜月胜地和美军驻军的岛屿到底是怎样的。”

USMC Camp Foster Base Housing, 2008
F-15 and AWAC Plane, 2008
Grady, Chatan, 2016

“Living in Tokyo in the 1970s, I unexpectedly encountered this vast network of U.S. overseas bases, of which Okinawa was, and remains, a part, via late night broadcasts of American Forces radio. Around this time, I also discovered Ryu Murakami’s first novel, Almost Transparent Blue, set in a town near a big U.S. air base west of Tokyo. He described a world where aimless young Japanese and young American servicemen partied, slept together, hung out, fought, and drifted apart, though not necessarily in that order.”


“上世纪70年代,我在东京生活时,意外在美军广播电台一档深夜节目中知道了美国的庞大海外军事基地网络,而冲绳正是其中的一个部分。大约也是在那个时候,我还发现了村上龙(Ryu Murakami)的第一部小说《接近无限透明的蓝色》正是以东京以西的美国空军基地附近的小镇为背景创作的。他在小说中,描述了漫无目的的日本年轻人和年轻的美国军人一起举办派对,一起玩,又互相战斗,然后慢慢疏远,大概是这样的故事。”

Man in Corvette reading "Star and Stripes", Okinawa, 2008
Family Housing, USMC Camp Foster, 2008
Watching Softball Game at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, 2008

“But on that first short Okinawa visit, dodging the rain in the streets of the capital, Naha, I didn’t see much evidence of a local version of the scene Murakami had described. It was there, however. It was further up the highway in base towns north of the capital and being photographed, as I would later discover, by Japanese – including Okinawan – photographers. For myself, as far as these base towns went, I had been luckier in earlier years, making pictures closer to Tokyo, in Yokosuka, where the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet was (and still is) based. After a few sunless days, I left Okinawa on the twice-weekly JAL flight to Hong Kong; on board were a number of American military families, off to the British territory for Christmas vacation. My own Hong Kong visit ended up stretching into New Year, then the Lunar New Year and beyond, eventually making the city my home for the next fifteen years.”


“但是,第一次到冲绳短期旅游时,我在首府那霸的街头忙着避雨,也没有看到村上龙在书中曾描述的那种场景。然而,我后来发现,在那里沿公路往上走就是了,在那霸以北的小镇里,也是美军的驻扎地。曾有许多日本摄影师,包括冲绳本地的摄影师,到那里去拍摄。至于我自己,我在早些年挺幸运的,正巧在近东京的横须贺进行过拍摄,那里是美国海军第7舰队的基地(现在仍然是)。在度过了几天阴天之后,我乘坐每周两班的日航离开冲绳岛,飞往香港;在飞机上,有一些美国军人的家属,他们正要前往当时英国占领的香港过圣诞假期。我原本计划在香港的短期行程,后来一直延期到了新年,然后又过了中国的春节,最终,我在这座城市一直生活了十五年。”

Osprey and Marines, Camp Hansen, 2015
Protest House, Naha, 2012
Road Above Camp Lester, 2008

“I knew I wanted to return to Okinawa, but other decisions, other distractions, kept me occupied, and it would take more than 20 years before I was able to make pictures there again. During this period, a drawdown of US engagement in the region was taking place. Alliances were shifting or completely unraveling. The U.S. closed its bases in Vietnam and the last troops were withdrawn in 1973. Soon after, in 1975, the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government collapsed. By 1976, the U.S. was forced to vacate bases in Thailand from where they had operated for more than a decade in support of the war in Vietnam. In 1979, following diplomatic recognition of Beijing, the U.S. closed its bases in Taiwan. Elsewhere in Asia, the U.S. had long operated a number of key facilities in the Philippines: Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base, in their day, were among the largest U.S. bases overseas. By 1992, those too were closed.”


“我一直都想重回冲绳,但是总会因为其它决定和事情而未能成行。20多年之后,我才有机会再次去那里拍照。在此期间,美国开始回撤在当地的军事力量。联军的关系在变化,或者说已经完全崩溃。美军关闭了在越南的基地,并在1973年撤回了最后的部队。不久之后,在1975年,美国支持的南越政府垮台。到1976年,美国被迫撤出在泰国的军事基地,在之前十多年间,他们在这里驻扎,以支持越南战争。1979年,美国与中国建交,美国又关闭了在台湾的基地。至于亚洲其它地区,美国曾长期在菲律宾经营多个重要基地:克拉克空军基地和苏比克湾海军基地,在当时,它们是美国其中两个最大的海外基地。到1992年,这两个军事基地也被关闭。”

Bar Interior, Okinawa City, 2008
Customers in Bar, 2016
Bar Interior, Sakura-zaka, Naha, 2016

“And so, in 2008, when I was finally able to undertake a project on ‘the bases’, their number was much reduced. The U.S. military presence in the region was now concentrated on bases in Japan and Korea, and on the U.S. territory of Guam in the western Pacific. The first step was to make formal requests (to the Pentagon and to individual bases). At last, in March 2008, with permissions in place, I was able to begin photographing. Within two years, I had photographed more than 20 separate bases, some numerous times.”


“因此,当2008年我终于接到一个有关这些美军‘基地’的项目时,这些基地的数量已经大大减少。现在,美国军事基地主要集中在日本和韩国,以及西太平洋地区,美国境内的关岛。我要做的第一步是(向美国五角大楼和相应的军事基地)提出正式请求。最后,在2008年3月,在获得这些地方的批准后,我终于可以开始拍摄了。在两年之内,我拍摄了超过20个美军基地,其中一些我还探访了好几次。”

Teishoku Marunaka, Okinawa City, 2016
Mt. Blanc Hotel, Okinawa City, 2016
Wooden Building, Naha, 2009

Previous publications by Girard include City of Darkness and City of Darkness Revisited, documenting Hong Kong’s infamous Kowloon Walled City, and monographs Phantom Shanghai and Hanoi CallingHotel Okinawa will be available for purchase from The Velvet Cell on August 15th.


Girard之前出版的作品包括记录香港臭名昭著的九龙寨城的《City of Darkness》和《City of Darkness Revisited》,以及《Phantom Shanghai》和《Hanoi Calling》。 《Hotel Okinawa》8月15将在The Velvet Cell发售。

"Home Base" Oden Restaurant, 2008
Grass/Plants/Neon, Chatan, 2016
Marine with Companion at USMC Birthday Ball, Okinawa, 2008

Websitegreggirard.com
Instagram: @gregforaday

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站greggirard.com
Instagram@gregforaday

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao