August 6, 2015
This Saturday, 8th August, Japanese award winning photographer Takashi Arai will be talking at Street Level Photoworks, in Glasgow, about his work and experiences photographing the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear explosions in Japan. I’ll join Takashi-san, whom I’m pleased to have known for a few years now, since my Tokyo days, in his talk to discuss my own work from Fukushima and to discuss Fukushima in general. Please join us, the event is free, but you do need to reserve a ticket just for space and numbers purposes.
Within sight of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (mast-like structures on horizon of pic) the police search Ukedo beach for bodies of tsunami victims, within the evacuated, and now uninhabited 20km exclusion zone around Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in Namie, Japan, on Monday 27th February 2012.
The exclusion zone used to be home to approximately 73,000 people, but all have been evacuated by the government and are now restricted from returning home due to high levels of radiation contamination from the explosions at the TEPCO owned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11th 2011.
Due to the towns and zone being uninhabited the police patrol to prevent crime and theft from unoccupied properties and businesses.
From the Street Level Photoworks announcement of the show:
We are pleased to announce that Takashi Arai will give a slide talk on his work at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow, in association with Alternative Photography Scotland. Tokyo-based artist Takashi Arai is well-known as a unique contemporary daguerreotypist in Japan. His work is not meant to showcase the object being depicted, but instead the medium of photography itself.
Takashi Arai first encountered photography while he was a university student of biology. In an effort to trace photography to its origins, he encountered daguerreotype, and after much trial and error mastered the complex technique. Arai does not see daguerreotype as a nostalgic reproduction of a classical method; instead, he has made it his own personal medium, finding it a reliable device for storing memory that is far better for recording and transmitting interactions with his subjects than modern photography.
Beginning in 2010, when he first became interested in nuclear issues, Arai has used the daguerreotype technique to create individual records-micro-monuments-of his encounters with surviving crew members, and the salvaged hull, of the fallout-contaminated Daigo Fukuryumaru fishing boat, records that touch upon the fragmented reality of events in the past. This project led him to photograph the deeply interconnected subjects of Fukushima, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
Arai’s work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and in 2014, he received the Source-Cord Prize, sponsored by Source Magazine.