Yuki Iwanami

Yuki Iwanami

About Home Lost -FUKUSHIMA Landscapes-:

When the huge earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima on March 11th, 2011, Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power plant exploded and scattered the radioactive material around this land. I, continue shooting in Fukushima from soon after the disaster, recorded the landscape to visualize the loss of the hometown and the damage caused by the invisible radiation.

Through years of photo project, I have been witnessing the changes of Fukushima, caused naturally and artificially. Nature have eroded man-made structures, weeds have grew thickly on the rice fields and the ‘Satoyama’ scenery has disappeared. It seems as if that evil invades man’s land gradually , or on the contrary, that the land was being reclaiming its natural state . Decontamination action carried out by the government made fields and gardens unnaturally clean, although all residents comprehend that they will never be able to return home.

Three years after the disaster, I moved to Fukushima. By having been photographing Fukushima as one of the local inhabitants, I became aware of the absurdity existing here. Though the nuclear power plant disaster has been forgotten in other areas, the influence of the accident has been a part of our ordinary life in Fukushima. Even now, the rich land passed down from their ancestors is being ruined. Also, their generations long community is being destroyed. Residents can no longer live in their own hometown. People who lost their homes can do nothing but gazing at the devastated land.

In other words, I began to feel that the major damage of this nuclear accident was “fragmentation”. A border was born, and it was a problem in and of itself. In the beginning, the boundary line was run over the area forced to evacuate and the area which is not so by a certain distance from the Nuclear Plant. It is a big difference whether to evacuate or not by the border line. The landscape of the desolated field will be a golden rural landscape if I cross the line a step. When I cross the line from a place where no one lives at all, there are people’s activities that seemingly does not change. That was odd. In the six years since the accident, the boundary line was redressed by radiation dose, and after that, it was moved one after another by canceling the evacuation order.

I live in the same area and share absurdity they feel. This project shows the divided living and land without returning to original of Fukushima and their home going through, from my personal perspective as a photographer, who chose to live and visually capture the destroyed life and land in Fukushima.

Artist Bio:

Yuki Iwanami, born in Nagano, Japan in 1977, started his career as a photojournalist in 2001. He covered stories in Cambodia, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2003, he joined staff photographer team of a major Japanese newspaper based in Tokyo, Sendai, Osaka, and Fukushima. Since 2015, as a freelance photographer, he has been covering the stories of the world, especially the nuclear power plant disaster in Japan. Recent work is the photo book, ‘ 1,500 Days Gone By’. He has been awarded with Critical Mass (Top 50, 2013), Prix de la Photographie Paris (Silver and Bronze Prize, 2013) and more. He has exhibited at Nikon Salon (solo, Tokyo, Japan, 2016), The Power House Arena (New York, 2015), Southeast Museum of Photography (Florida, 2014), and Corden|Potts Gallery (California, 2014) , Konica Plaza (solo, Tokyo, 2003) etc. His works joined the Mumbai Photo Festival 2017, and Head On Photo Festival 2017. His works ‘ Fukushima NOMAOI ‘ series are stored in International Center of Photography in 2016.

Website: www.yukiiwanami.com