Requires Photography

March 11, 2011, Sample of the Fallout from US H-Bomb Test in Bikini Atoll in 1954, Collected on Japanese Fishing Boat Daigo Fukuryûmaru (Lucky Dragon 5), Todoroki Ryokuchi Park, Kawasaki from the series Daily D-type Project

2011
Arai Takashi (Japanese, born in 1978)


Dimensions

Framed: 23.5 x 22.9 x 4.4 cm (9 1/4 x 9 x 1 3/4 in.) Image: 6.3 x 6.3 cm (2 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

2015.2949

Medium or Technique

Daguerreotype

Not On View

Classifications

Photographs

Japanese, born in 1978

They say we must never forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Daigo Fukuryumaru, Fukushima. But for the vast majority of us who did not directly experience those events ourselves, this slogan is an impossible command. Nevertheless, we continue to refresh our individual experience and memory through continuous contact with monuments. We must continue to alight here on their surface. To confront these monuments is to connect with a bygone time and space. It is to lend an ear to the new tale of you and of me that is being spun from the monuments’ surface. This is surely how the new 21st-century resistance to extinction and oblivion will once again be waged.

For his images Arai has embraced the daguerreotype, the early 19th-century photographic technique, which involves exposing a polished silvered plate to light. He has been attracted to the process because it is slow and deliberate. It also produces a single image that cannot be replicated, unlike the products of negative-positive film. Arai believes that his daguerreotypes, with their own three-dimensional presence, can serve as compact monuments, compelling us to remember.

March 11, 2011, Sample of the Fallout from US H-Bomb Test in Bikini Atoll in
1954, Collected on Japanese Fishing Boat Daigo Fukuryumaru (Lucky Dragon 5),
Todoroki Ryokuchi Park, Kawasaki
from the series Daily D-type Project, 2011
 Daguerrotype

At 2:46 pm on March 11, Arai was in his own studio, just to the south of Tokyo, making an image of a petri dish containing radioactive ash from the 1954 Bikini Atoll nuclear tests. Needing a long exposure time, Arai held his hand steady for more than thirty seconds and, as is his usual practice, recorded the ambient sound—in this instance, the blare of warning announcements that you can hear here.

Courtesy Photo Gallery International

Provenance

2011, consigned by the artist to Photo Gallery International, Tokyo, Japan; 2015, sold by Photo Gallery International to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 24, 2015)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by John and Olivia Parker

Copyright

Reproduced with permission.