The artists picture the space installation as their responses to the aftermath of Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2010. Residents were forced to evacuate from their homes when nuclear radiation spread across the town, abandoning every possession they had. This room captures the moment of emergency, anxiety and fear of the evacuees. Marking its fifth year as an exclusion zone, the time capsule flourishes with nature. Inspired by an installation located right in the prohibited area, Don’t Follow the Wind (2015) will only open to public in years when radiation is completely cleaned up. This artwork aims to resurface the forgotten disaster and provoke discussion between humanity and authority rights.
Creating an installation has expanded my horizons in discovering the possible ways to craft a narration within an art piece. Unlike short films, we had to really dive deep into the essence of our focused story. Why do we want to expand on this topic? How do we tell story in a non-linear way? How can audience relate to your story? It was a nerve wracking start, for just deciding on medium and location. Many ideas were infeasible due to resource constraints. Soon we realized that we were clouded with so many considerations, and it was not going anywhere.
Our installation, Traces, derived from our fundamental interest to revisit someone’s memory/ dream/ experiences (from our first ideation process). Fear was an emotion we would like to explore, and an idea struck when we chanced upon a documentary video called “Don’t Follow the Wind”. It is the juxtaposition between human and nature, a contrast between life (overgrown plants) and death (abandonment home).
I am too amazed by the other groups’ installations, inclusion of performance and interactive art. It was interesting to understand their thought process and execution, that would definitely help me to better plan and express my works in the future installations (hopefully?).
An installation space uses various mediums and techniques used to convey messages/stories. We decided to narrow down into two main directions:
Immersive Experience – exploration of certain natural environment through large moving image projection and sound, rather abstract.
Narrative Stories – filming from a person’s point of view / pick an interesting group of people to document / stringing our personal stories with a theme (eg. family)
Here are our top 3 ideas:
Critic on Fukushima disaster | Whether the construction of nuclear power plant is viable in populated cities. (Chosen idea)
Appropriation video – gathering news report/documentary/commentary footages of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, its aftermath (particularly the affected residents), and the worsening situation 5 years on.
Immersive experience – a room simulating an abandoned home, residents’ belongings lying around haphazardly
As the video plays on loop, the audience can walk around the room and visit the families’ belongings, who were forced to vacate their homes immediately after the nuclear disaster. Household items will be scattered around the room, emulating the chaotic mess that were left behind.
Image of a newspaper projected on the walls, showing a scene with empty streets, simulating an abandoned town, families forcibly removed (something like the gif below)
Research and References
A group of artists risked their life to enter the radiation contaminated neighbourhood to set up their installation in abandoned homes.
An organisation that is funded by the public, to post news that is not on mainstream media. This article was one of the key findings that prompted us to carry out our finalised idea. Although the credibility is questionable, the issue raised was not impossible, but in fact highly probable. The worsening of the nuclear problem was something that could affect the public badly, and could even escalate to be a worldwide issue. The fact that the situation and news at the Fukushima is being less and less reported and slowly forgotten and neglected is worrying. Thus, we decided to tap on this finding to highlight the concern.
Connected | Revealing personal stories of people living in a community
Many of us live in public housing. Hundreds of families are living closely in the same block, but everyone has their own unique story to tell.
Construct a HDB building model.
Sound recording of each household’s everyday life (radio playing, couple quarrelling, family watching tv etc.) can be heard as they light up individually.
Research and References
Taken from art science museum trip
Use of light and reflections create dramatic atmosphere, inviting audiences to immerse in another dimension.
Immersive experience | Invoking fear and phobias
Environments that make you feel uncomfortable – drowning, falling off from staircase, losing yourself in the human crowd etc.
Multiple projections of the same environment across the room
Sound effects from the environmental settings (water, human talking and walking)
Could be enclosed space to confine only one audience to experience at a time.