Pinhole Photography and Traces of Hiroshima

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Many years ago my father joined the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces (BCOF) and was stationed in Hiroshima in 1947, where he assisted in rebuilding the city. My childhood was filed with the traces of Hiroshima, from the terrifying black and white atomic bombing ‘before and after’ souvenir photographs sold to the occupation forces, through to a beautiful kimono with a dragon embroiled in rich gold thread.

In November last year I visited the city of Hiroshima for one week. During this time I commenced work on my Phd photographic project in which I am using a series of pinhole camera and lo-fi photographic processes to create images of the city. My project explores the concept of liminality, interrogating the concept of liminal spaces and how photography may be used to expose temporal gaps and overlays that conjoin past and present within the one photographic image.

The images (see above) were taking using a pinhole camera loaded with 4 x 5 black and white film. On my return to Hiroshima I plan to create a series of small pinhole cameras that will be situated around the busy city of Hiroshima. These pinhole cameras capture long exposure images, leaving only traces of the people who now occupy the city. The other project will involve the collection of a large series of color portraits of people living in Hiroshima, these photographs will be taken using my Mamiya 22o medium format camera.

This work aims to use the photographic image as a portal to liminal spaces; where the past folds over the present and then recedes back into the distance like a wave from a distant shore. For a fleeting moment we may experience time as a moment that is neither here nor there,  where past and present co-exist. The photographs should be understood as experiments as I work towards a final body of photographic work.

 

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~ by Dean on June 2, 2016.

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