via Youtube / September 24, 2015 /
This documentary on the Fukushima Art Project chronicles artist Ai Weiwei’s investigation of the site as well as the project’s installation process.
In August 2014, Ai Weiwei was invited as one of the participating artists to originate artwork for the Fukushima Nuclear Zone by the Japanese art coalition Chim↑Pom， as part of the project they initiated called Don’t Follow the Wind . Ai accepted the invitation for his concern over the (Fukushima nuclear leakage) disaster as well as human’s state of living. Subsequently, Ai sent his assistant Ma Yan to the exclusion zone in Japan to investigate the site.
The Fukushima Nuclear Exclusion Zone is thus far located within the 20-kilometer radius of land area of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. 25,000 people have already been evacuated from the Exclusion Zone. Both water and electric circuits were cut off. Entrance restriction is expected to be relieved in the next thirty years, or even longer. The art project will also be open to public at that time. The three spots usable as exhibition spaces by the artists are all former residential houses, among which exhibition site one and two were used for working and lodging; and exhibition site three was used as a community entertainment facility with an ostrich farm.
Ai brought about two projects, “A Ray of Hope” and “Family Album” after analyzing materials and information generated from the site, and his assistant Ma Yan went to the site again on March 10th, 2015 and completed the project installation.
In “A Ray of Hope”, a solar photovoltaic system is built on exhibition site one, on the second level of the old warehouse. Integral LED lighting devices are used in the two rooms. The lights would turn on automatically from 7 to 10pm, and from 6 to 8am daily, totaling five hours per day. This lighting system is the only light source in the Exclusion Zone after this project was installed.
Photos of Ai and his studio staff at Caochangdi that make up project “Family Album” are displayed on exhibition site two and three , in the seven rooms where locals used to live. The twenty-two selected photos are divided in five categories according to types of event spanning eight years. Among these photos, six of them were taken from the site investigation at the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake; two were taken during the time when he was illegally detained after pleading the Tan Zuoren case in Chengdu, China in August 2009; and three others taken during his surgical treatment for his head injury from being attacked in the head by police officers in Chengdu; five taken of him being followed by the police and his Beijing studio Fake Design under surveillance due to the studio tax case from 2011 to 2012; four are photos of Ai Weiwei and his family from year 2011 to year 2013; and the other two were taken earlier of him in his studio in Caochangdi (One taken in 2005 and the other in 2006).