A Body In Fukushima: Winter 2014

Hide surroundings Show surroundings

30 min video created from photographs by William Johnston.

In January 2014, I traveled to Fukushima, Japan with photographer and Japanese history professor from Wesleyan University, William Johnston. We went into areas severely affected by the explosions of the Fukushima Daiichi plants, some only recently open for visitors. In the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the reactors suffered massive damage, releasing high volumes of radiation into the surrounding land and sea.

Because the plants continue to emit radiation and the cleaning process is slow and difficult, tens of thousands of people still live in temporary housing far from home. Regional train service was discontinued, and the abandoned tracks are covered with overgrown weeds. The stations near the sea were completely swept away by the tsunami. By placing my body in these places, I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. Now desolate, only time and wind continue to move.

A gallery exhibition A BODY IN FUKUSHIMA is on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art through April 5, 2015 and at Wesleyan University Center for the Fine Arts through May 14, 2015. The exhibition was also shown at the Galleries of Contemporary Arts of University of Colorado at Colorado Springs from December 2014 through February 2015.

We are grateful to Wesleyan University Center for the Fine Arts and Doris Duke Artist Award for their support of the project. Eiko