Chikyu (meaning 'Earth' in Japanese) is the world’s largest deep-ocean scientific drilling vessel. I was given rare access to the ship during the 'Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment' – at the cutting edge of geological exploration and research. The scientific mission is to drill deep into the Earth's surface and retrieve core samples from the boundary between the Philippine Sea and Eurasian tectonic plates at the Nankai Trough – one of Japan's most seismically volatile regions and the source of historic and future earthquakes. This mission represents extraordinary human ambition and engineering that aims to provide a greater understanding of the tectonic mechanics of the Earth's surface, to comprehend the forces of Nature and to protect future generations from disaster.
This series also includes photographs made at the Kochi Core Repository where 150 kms of deep-earth core samples (representing 200 million years of geological time) are archived.
These photographs form the most recent series in my ongoing work in Japan that considers the relationship between geological phenomena and human-cultural histories. Previous series include 'A Catfish Sleeps' (2009) and 'Tohoku' (made at the time of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami).