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The New Clear Age

Photographic Project 2011-

The New Clear Age #1 (Mihama).jpg

The New Clear Age

In this project, I have documented all existing nuclear power plants in Japan using large-format photography between 2011 and 2016. However, except for a dozen photographs in the series, all are kept unpublished until 2029. Some of the unpublished images have been exhibited alongside the published ones as empty frames. The reason for this delay stems from my observation that nuclear disasters exceeding level 5 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) have occurred approximately every 20 to 25 years (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2013). This observation led me to recall a tradition in Japanese Shinto shrines, called "Sengu," where all shrine buildings undergo a ceremony of dismantling and rebuilding every 20 years. Some of the oldest shrines have undergone this periodic rebuilding for over 1300 years. This periodic rebuilding is considered crucial for the succession of tradition and know-how in shrine building across generations. Similarly, the occurrence of severe nuclear accidents every couple of decades can be attributed to a break in the succession of knowledge. In 2029, when the first generation of Japanese children born after the nuclear catastrophe reaches the age of majority and gains the right to vote, a lack of first-hand information about the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima in 2011 may influence the “uninformed” decisions they make as voters. This project aims to explore ways of delivering a certain body of work and information through non-traditional media over a generational time span.

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