Right after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, I found a blog about peacocks that were left in the evacuation zone, within the 20 km limit. I started imagining those peacocks, walking around the empty town with their beautiful wings spread. The image I had in my mind seemed so far away from what was going on in Fukushima. It was as if two different layers of images – the disaster scene and beautiful peacocks – were overlapping with each other without being unified.
I started to see different layers in almost everything after the disaster in 2011.
The Fukushima accident had a great impact on us, and yet, most of us don’t know exactly what happened, what is happening or what will happen in the future. We all have to choose the information that seems the most reliable and act accordingly. We don’t even know if Japan is safe or not. Some specialists say, “There is no problem” and others say “It’s seriously dangerous.”
Tokyo was chosen as the host city for 2020 Olympic games. Some evacuees have started to return home and many farmers and fishermen have started to work again. Others have started to move away - towards the west - to be further from the Fukushima plants. Seasons come and go, people fall in love, kids play. Many different layers overlap; the visible, the invisible, what we think we should see, what we know, what we feel with our five senses and sometimes our sixth. In this layered world, I started to feel pain and sorrow more vividly, but also beauty and happiness.
In my project ‘Layers,’ I use text to suggest other layers floating around my images, but it is not my intention to introduce a pessimistic note or romanticize tragedy. Probably the world has been always made of many different layers - even before the disaster. And there have been always problems, and beautiful things have always remained beautiful…
— Miho Kajioka
Editor’s Note: Editors’ Note: Miho Kajioka’s work will be exhibited at VU’ Gallery in Paris from June 8, 2016 to September 2, 2016. These are fairly small, handmade prints that are lovely objects of art that you can hold in the palm of your hand. For best viewing on your computer screen, choose the full-screen view. Otherwise, try to see them in person in Paris this summer!