The Nature of Nature. Fukushima Project – Museum Angewandte Kunst [Exhibition Catalogue]

Norbert Schoerner

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König (2022)

Hardback 18 x 25 cm

The bonsais in Norbert Schoerner’s photographs were cultivated by the Abe family who live near Fukushima. For three generations, these masters – Kurakichi, his son Kenichi, and his grandson Daiki – have been growing bonsais from seeds. They use seeds from trees only to be found in the shadow of the volcanic Mount Azuma-Kofuji.

The photographs capture the bonsais in a dioramic setting. This visual event combines different chronologies: The topographic formation of Mount Azuma- Kofuji over the course of several geological epochs, the lifecycle of a bonsai that can span several centuries, the exposure time of a photograph, and finally, the independent existence of this picture in the future.

It is impossible to view these works without considering the ecological effects of the catastrophe that occurred in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. The photos provide a direct confrontation with the destructive consequences of this event, and with humanity’s attempts to use and control nature for its own purposes.

Texts by: Tom Morton, Shinichi Nakazawa, Julia Psilitelis, Matthias Wagner K.

English version here
German version here