***This Event Has Now Passed***
Event: Tsunami: Archaeology of a Disaster (Photography Exhibition)
When: Now – Saturday 16 March. Gallery Open Tue – Sat, 11am – 5pm (Thurs until 7pm)
Where: Side Gallery (Directions)
A new exhibition of work from Photographer Dean Chapman documenting the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. This ongoing event is free and highly recommended.
“On Friday 11th March 2011, as the end of the working week moved to its close, many people in Japan would have been looking forward to a late winter’s weekend. Then, at 2:46 in the afternoon, a colossal earthquake struck deep beneath the Pacific Ocean some 45 miles off of Japan’s northeast coast. Tsunami sirens wailed along the length of Japan’s eastern seaboard and local announcements repeatedly implored people to flee to higher ground: it wasn’t an exercise and that a “major tsunami”, was heading their way. It is reckoned the first tsunami reached the coast some 26 minutes later. Within an hour thousands had drowned, towns and cities had been destroyed, and a major nuclear accident was unfolding.
Three months after the catastrophe, Dean Chapman traveled down the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island, photographing devastated communities that he had previously documented in the summer of 1999. This journey was repeated in the autumn of 2011. Then in the autumn of 2012, eighteen months after the disaster, Dean traveled north through the devastated region, again documenting the widespread damage and loss, as well as the slow methodical clean-up, and the beginnings of the reconstruction of infrastructure, communities and businesses. The documentation concentrates on the ‘Sanriku’ coast of Honshu, from Ishinomaki to Taro, and does not cover Fukushima.
The downstairs component of the exhibition will feature monochrome photographs of locations ‘before and after’ the tsunami, that are complemented by single and multi-print images of locations, objects and people. Consisting of colour images, the upstairs component of the exhibition will extend the narrative; featuring landscape, interior and portrait photographs, as well as images of fragments of everyday lives, and copy photographs of unclaimed snapshots slowly dissolving because of exposure to the elements. The exhibition seeks to examine the representation of catastrophe and loss, and perceptions of ‘the Japanese’ and their unique cultural heritage. The photographer’s travel map will also be on display in the upstairs space.
Dean Chapman is an award-winning photographer who has work extensively in Asia for over twenty years, and is the winner of the 1998 European Publishers’ Award for Photography for his documentation of the Karenni insurgency in Burma. Based in Newcastle and represented by Panos Pictures Agency in London, his photographs have been exhibited internationally and widely published. He has photographed in Japan periodically since 1993.” – Side Gallery