As part of his photo essay "Ask The Dust", French photographer Romain Veillon traveled to Nara, Japan to photograph the city's abandoned amusement park, "Dreamland", just before it was demolished last October. Naru Dreamland opened in 1961, but after years of stiff competition from parks such as Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan, finally closed its doors in 2006. It lay abandoned for 10 full years.  

"Nature reclaimed the park, which disappeared slowly under the vegetation, and created an even more magical and unique atmosphere," said Veillon, speaking to seminal design magazine Dezeen. "But even this abandoned time had to come to an end." 

Just before that time came, Veillon entered the park to document its verdant decomposition. The resulting images are both surreal and serene: vines crisscross coasters; shrubs block in bumper cars. Every photograph projects an uneasy contrast of power and decay - where nature was once beaten back, it has returned with forceful grace to reclaim the park. 

In an era rife with anxiety over our planet's future, Veillon's photos tell of a salient, if uncomfortable, fate: nature will be fine without us. It is humanity - the easily overgrown, the readily absorbed - we should be worried about. Check out the rest of the photos in the series below:


AS RAKESTRAW | The personal site of Alex Rakestraw.