Monuments by Takashi Arai
275×195mm | 160page | hardcover with a craft rubber finished box
Design: Masakazu Onishi
published by Photo Gallery International
Limited edition of 1000 copies, signed.
Texts by Kikuji Kawada, Mariko Takeuchi
Being exposed in a hundred suns - Takashi Arai's first monograph "MONUMENTS"
In an effort to trace photography to its origins, Arai encountered daguerreotype, and after much trial and error mastered the complex technique. Arai does not see daguerreotype as a nostalgic reproduction of a classical method; instead, he has made it his own personal medium, finding it a reliable device for storing memory that is far better for recording and transmitting interactions with his subjects than modern photography.
Beginning in 2010, when he first became interested in nuclear issues, Arai has used the daguerreotype technique to create individual records—micro-monuments—of his encounters with surviving crew members, and the salvaged hull, of the fallout-contaminated Daigo Fukuryumaru fishing boat, records that touch upon the fragmented reality of events in the past. This project led him to photograph the deeply interconnected subjects of Fukushima, Hiroshima, Nagasaki.
Kikuji Kawada, a master photographer who contributed an essay to MONUMENTS, says: "This daguerreotype photograph allows our eyes and mind to synchronize with the day, and reveals a world full of conflict carved by civilization. Here, the aged technique of the daguerreotype is reborn as an original method chosen by a keen photographer. "
Arai's daguerreotypes connect the past to the present through the journey to the nuclear legacies from Trinity Site to Fukushima. This year 2015 is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing. At this crucial moment, his first monograph casts a new light on the history, and bridges gigantic issues and observable world of our individuals.
MONUMENTS includes 100 pages of 130 images and 60 pages of English and Japanese text written by the artist, Kikuji Kawarda and Mariko Takeuchi (critic/independent curator). Each copy of the hardback limited edition of 1000 comes in a craft rubber finished box, and signed by the artist.
Takashi Arai (b.1978-)
Tokyo based photographer/daguerreotypist Takashi Arai's work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Mori Art Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, among other international venues. In 2014, he received the Source-Cord Prize, UK. His works are held in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and Musée Guimet among other museums.