Here and Now: Atomic Bomb Artifacts, ひろしま/Hiroshima 1945/2007—

Ishiuchi Miyako

Born in Japan in 1947, Ishiuchi Miyako hadn’t visited Hiroshima until 2007, when she accepted a commission from Yamamoto Junji, the editor of Shuiesha publishing company, to photograph artifacts from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for a monograph. Published in 2008, Hiroshima presents 61 color photographs created by placing the artifacts — clothing and personal effects that were deposited in the archive by members of victims’ families — on a light box, illuminating the weave of the garments and enhancing the objects in an aura of light.

Since 2007, Ishiuchi has returned each year to Hiroshima to photograph artifacts selected from the collection of over 19,000 items; she has chosen to focus on those that had direct contact with the body of a victim. After the first year photographing on a light box, she now photographs exclusively with natural light. This is an ongoing project.

Here and Now prints 214 photographs, the most complete suite of images from Ishiuchi’s archive to date. The book presents not only those finished works that have been enlarged for exhibition but uncovers the process Ishiuchi employs in making her photographs, a kind of interrogation of the subject, zooming in on details, moving around the item, shooting from different angles. Again, here, Ishiuchi is using photography to explore the deeper meaning in her subject, to understand not only who might have worn or had contact with the artifacts but what they mean today, at this moment in time.

PPP Editions, 2014
100 copies, the entire edition, each signed and numbered by the artist on folded single-sheet colophon laid into the book.

Square 4to.; 214 color reproductions printed on recto of French-folded sheets with 20 solid colors on verso; silk silver marker; gray paper over boards, fluorescent silver reproductions on recto and verso; housed in a gray paper over board slipcase.

︎︎︎ Exhibition