Ikumi Nakamura
Project UrbEx

A thrilling photographic adventure around an offbeat selection of the world’s abandoned buildings, captured by one of the videogame industry’s most beloved creatives.

  • $50.00

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Ikumi Nakamura Project UrbEx $50.00

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Famed videogame creator Ikumi Nakamura became widely known after she gave a speech about a “spooooky” game, Ghostwire: Tokyo, at the prestigious E3 conference. Her talent, infectious personality and strong sense of wonder for the world – “I think I haven’t changed much since I was a kid” – has attracted a global cult following. What many fans don’t know, however, is that Nakamura has a secret alter ego in the form of ‘TommyBoy’ – a fearless urban explorer.

For years Nakamura has been traversing the planet to go to under-the-radar abandoned buildings, from the Igloo Hotel in Alaska, a magnificent dome structure housing an intricate carousel-like wooden framework, to a mysterious liquor factory in Mexico with a giant replica bottle on its roof and the disused Blue Horizon Boxing Ring, where Rocky (1976) was filmed. Working in the gaming industry for nearly two decades, Nakamura has dreamt up many imagined worlds, but it’s these forgotten corners of the real world that truly fire her creative vision. Her photographic eye evokes the survival-horror feel of her own dystopian videogames.

With Google Maps at our fingertips, it can often feel impossible to get lost or discover anything novel, but through her daring escapades Nakamura taps into a lost spirit of true adventure. Hers is an enthusiastic brand of tour guiding, taking the reader to eye-opening spaces and atmospheres through exceptional photography and transporting – and sometimes amusing – stories.

Her pictures, gathered here in print for the first time, reveal that, from Japan and the United States, from Belgium to Taiwan, and from Spain to Bali, our planet is teeming with human-made structures lying derelict and undisturbed, waiting to be discovered by intrepid explorers.


Ikumi Nakamura


Read-Only Memory


Liam Wong


Ikumi Nakamura
Mai Mattori
Gabriele Brombin


255 x 190 mm
256 pages
Cut-flush hardcover
O-card slipcase
Printed in six colors

Many know her as a game developer, but Ikumi’s unseen talent as a photographer reveals another side to her that will both impress and disturb you in equal measure.

Liam Wong, author of TO:KY:OO and After Dark

Ikumi’s photography acts as a conduit between the stark unsettling beauty of abandoned architecture and the gripping survival horror worlds she has created.

Gregorios Kythreotis, Creative Director of Sable

Meet the author

Ikumi Nakamura is an independent creative, explorer and videogame designer. Since 2004 she has explored and photographed abandoned and uninhabited places and spaces across Europe, Asia and the United States to find inspiration for her games. Influenced by the videogame S.T.A.L.K.E.R., she created a mysterious style of wearing a hoodie and gas mask when exploring. She also aspires to become a secrets hunter on the Japanese TV show Discovery of the World’s Mysteries. The experiences and records of her photography pursuits are published on the website Tomboy Urbex.