Some thoughts on Mushrooms from the forest 2011 by Takashi Homma

Posted in 3.11,text by iseki ken on 2013-03-11

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オンライン・フォトグラフィー・マガジンF-STOP MAGAZINEに掲載されたTristan Hooperによる展覧会レビュー記事を転載させていただきました。


Online photography magazine F-STOP and writer Tristan Hooper kindly let us reprint the exhibition review article.


Some thoughts on Mushrooms from the forest 2011 by Takashi Homma

Tristan Hooper

During the autumn of 2011, following the catastrophic events of the Great East Japan Earthquake, photographer Takashi Homma explored the forests of Fukushima prefecture. In the midst of the nuclear crisis Homma selected, picked and photographed various species of mushroom that were found to exhibit high levels of radiation and were as a result classified as unsafe by the government.

An exhibition of the photographs entitled Mushrooms from the forest 2011 was hosted by Blind Gallery between December 17th and February 19th, 2012. A book by the same name, containing further images was produced in conjunction with the exhibit.

The newly opened gallery is located in the Yoyogi district of Tokyo, just a few minutes’ walk from the JR station. The venue itself is the definition of bare bones simplicity. Fashioned from what appears to be a recycled shipping container, the narrow yet surprisingly accommodating space places the focus directly on the work displayed and leaves little room for anything else.

The images are framed simply and displayed without captions. The individual mushroom studies, which account for the majority of the exhibition, are juxtaposed with images of the wild and unpopulated woodland environment from which they originated. The various species of mushroom are photographed against a white background; soil and other debris are clearly visible clinging to roots and stems. The different types of fungi are incredibly distinctive. After viewing one or two they begin to resemble portraits. Each mushroom is personified by its individual shape, size and features. Some species appear in pairs, others in larger groups still. These organic subjects look especially foreign photographed in such a sterile environment leading one to make associations with medical study or post mortem examination.

In modern culture and especially ancient civilisation the image of the mushroom is hugely symbolic for a number of reasons. This varied iconography could instigate a number of different interpretations in terms of understanding Homma’s work. It is interesting to note that fungi have long been recipient to a range of conflicting emotional reactions. On one hand they are the fruits of nature, spawned from the ground and picked by many for food but conversely they are often regarded as a sinister, potentially fatal and toxic species.

To some the phallic shape of the mushroom represents fertility, however when viewing Homma’s photographs perhaps the most obvious association can be drawn from the fact that the typical mushroom shape is ubiquitous with the cloud form produced by an atomic explosion. Referred to simply as a ‘mushroom cloud’, this image has been and continues to be the subject of endless recontextualization and can be seen appropriated within advertising, animation, protest imagery and political propaganda. Indeed, this atomic association is in keeping with the works somewhat nuclear premise. The atomic explosion is the result of man’s destructive application of nuclear power whilst the contamination of Homma’s mushrooms is partly a consequence of man’s utilisation of nuclear power for energy.

Homma picked the mushrooms and photographed them on site within the forest using a portable studio. The strategy of extracting the specimens from their natural habitat and relocating them inside a white, clinical environment seems to reassert and punctuate the concept of man’s potential influence and power over nature.

Mushrooms from the forest is another example of a relatively recent shift in Takashi Homma’s practice. His previous work is notable in its depiction of modern Tokyo suburbia and its young inhabitants. Lately however his focus has been more directed toward nature.

In comparison to the great glut of imagery produced in response to the tragic disaster of 2011 and the subsequent nuclear crisis, Homma’s work is muted and quietly suggestive. When studying the mushroom photographs it is easy to be drawn in by the intricacy and strange beauty of nature’s design but if one considers these images in terms of their contextual significance it becomes more apparent that this is a body of work that is loaded with implication.






展覧会が行われたのは代々木ヴィレッジ内にあるblind gallery。作品を展示する以外に























「mushrooms from the forest」はホンマの昨今の作品の変化を示す一例である。











Posted in 3.11 by tomo ishiwatari on 2011-10-19

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『Newsweek 2011/9/14号』

『Newsweek 2011/9/14号』に写真家の本城直季さんが撮影した被災地の写真が掲載されています。



『週刊金曜日 2011/9/9号』



「TOKYO IS:」という連載をしています。



『思想地図β vol.2』

『思想地図β vol.2』の特集・震災以後では写真家の新津保建秀さんが


真夜中 2011 Early Autumun

Posted in 3.11,news by tomo ishiwatari on 2011-08-17

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関東大震災の絵はがきPostcards of The Great Kanto Earthquake

Posted in 3.11 by iseki ken on 2011-06-27

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こんにちは。between the booksエディターの井関ケンです。




Hi, this is Ken Iseki, the Editor at between the books.

Introducing today is a book called “絵葉書が語る関東大震災 – Ehagaki ga Kataru Kanto Daishinsai (Seeing The Great Kanto Earthquake Through Postcards) published by Tsugeshobo in 1990.

After the Great Kanto Earthquake on the 1st of September, 1923, a lot of postcards using the photos of the devastation emerged despite the severe damage at printing offices. The postcards were sold in the city, some for charity and some for moneymaking taking the advantage of the disaster. Without any visual mass media back then, they also became the means to convey the desolation in Kanto areas to the rest of Japan*1.

The black and white prints were coloured manually and then colour printed. You can tell some have been exaggerated with excess smoke and flame.

場所不明 惨害常 夜天空に漲る(みなぎる)火煙

Location Unknown – Fire smoke in the dark


Nijubashi Bridge

(上)京橋区 惨状の最も甚だしかった築地の大亀裂

(下)麹町区 ペチャンコになった日比谷公演音楽堂と震災前の音楽堂

(Above) Kyobashi-Ku:  The massive cracks in Tsukiji

(Below) Kojimachi-Ku:  Hibiya Concert Hall before and after the quake

(上)場所不明 大震災大火を呪う如き怪雲と猛煙

(下)京橋区 猛火に包まれた京橋附近

(Above) Location Unknown: Big cloud and smoke

(Below) Kyobashi-Ku: Kyobashi area surrounded by ferocious fire


(下)麹町区 猛火に包まれる警視庁と震災前の警視庁

(上)麹町区 数寄屋橋付近の猛炎

(下)日本橋区 日本橋付近の猛火と震災前の日本橋

(上)京橋区 京橋区銀座街の大惨状と震災前の銀座大炎

(下)京橋区 京橋区山下橋付近の大延焼と震災前の高架線

(Above) Kyobashi-Ku: Ginza before and after the quake

(Below) Kyobashi-Ku: Yamashita Bashi Bridge area before and after the quake

(上)本所区 本所国技館付近の惨状と震災前の両国国技館

(下)本所区 惨憺(さんたん)たる吾妻橋の焼失と震災前の吾妻橋

(Above) Honjo-Ku: Ryogoku Kokugikan before and after the quake

(Below) Honjo-Ku: Azumabashi Bridge before and after the quake

(上)浅草区 猛烈を極めたる浅草仲見世の大延焼と震災前の仲見世の賑わい

(下)浅草区 六階より折れて付近は火の海となる。別図は帝都の高洛と誇りし十二階の雄


(上)浅草区 震災前の浅草公園屋敷と全焼したる花屋敷、吞気な象クンの避難


(Above) Asakusa-Ku: Asakusa Park before and after the quake and the elephant evacuation.

(Below) Crowd evacuating in confusion.

(上)麹町区 丸の内へ避難する群衆。日本橋及び神田方面の猛火を望む

(下)その他 田端付近の避難民

(Above) Kojimachi-Ku: Crowd evacuating to Marunouchi. Furious fire towards Nihonbashi and Kanda.

(Below) Evacuees around Tabata

*1 Reference  Kanagawa University Website - The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake: Photo/Map Database

*1参考 神奈川大学のサイト 関東大震災 – 地図と写真のデータベース

Ryuji Miyamoto “KOBE 1995 After the Earthquake”

Posted in 3.11,site trekking by iseki ken on 2011-06-1

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こんにちは。between the booksエディターの井関ケンです。

写真家の宮本隆司さんが、1995年に阪神大震災後の神戸を撮影したシリーズ 、”Kobe 1995 After the Earthquake ” を紹介します。

Hi, this is Ken Iseki, the Editor at between the books.

Introducing today is ”Kobe 1995 After the Earthquake” by Ryuji Miyamoto, which focuses on Kobe after the earthquake.

















神戸市中央区三宮 そごうデパート

Sogo Department Store – Sannomiya, Chuo-ku, Kobe

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写真集トレッキング第5回 Taishi Hirokawa “Still Crazy”

Posted in 3.11,site trekking by iseki ken on 2011-05-21

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こんにちは。between the booksエディターの井関ケンです。

今回は広川泰士さんの『Still Crazy』です。



19 August 1993 Mihama


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Posted in 3.11,site trekking by iseki ken on 2011-04-26

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こんにちは。betweent the booksエディターの井関ケンです。



これは、写真家の平野愛智さんが「ROLLS TOHOKU」と題し、被災地の方々に使い捨てカメラ(写るんです)を渡して、被災者の方々に写真を撮ってもらい、それをウェブサイトにまとめたプロジェクトです。

Hi, this is Ken Iseki, the Editor at between the books.

Kids are playing soccer in the playground at Watanami Primary School in Ishimaki, Miyagi. The area was heavily affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami. This photograph was not taken by a journalist or photographer – but by the sufferer him/herself.

This is a part of project “ROLLS TOHOKU“ led by the Photographer, Aichi Hirano.  He has given disposal cameras to those affected by the disaster and put together the photos taken by them on a website.



he images we have seen on the papers or internet are all shot by the media, from their point of view. This was also the case for most of the dreadful events from the past.

しかし、このROLLS TOHOKUプロジェクトでは、被災者の方々が、実際に体験していること、身の回りでおこっていることを撮影しています。


In this  ROLLS TOHOKU project, those affected shot what they actually saw, experienced, and encountered around them.

Everything, from the squashed house, kids playing soccer, dogs wrapped in a blanket, old lady at a loss, middle-aged men chatting, a city turned into a swamp, to the kids giving the peace sign is bundled into one place.


Middle-aged men chatting.


Dog wrapped in a blanket.


Half collapsed house.




ROLLS TOHOKU 3/31-4/3のサイトはこちらです。

Photographs can have a wide diversity - whether they were taken by those affected or by the media, or from a subjective or objective perspective.

To be able to see the photos taken by those affected on the internet. This would not have come true without the technology of today and Hirano’s dynamism. A very valuable project.

The ROLLS TOHOKU 3/31-4/3 website is here.




Posted in 3.11 by manami takahashi on 2011-04-22

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『AERA 2011/4/11号』に、藤原新也さんによる東日本大震災のルポ「破壊と孤独」が掲載されています。




グラフ雑誌が伝えた大震災 「緊急復刊アサヒグラフ 東北関東大震災」

Posted in 3.11 by iseki ken on 2011-04-18

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「緊急復刊アサヒグラフ 東北関東大震災」


3月11日に起きた東日本大震災を受けて、さっそくその翌週に写真を中心とした大判の雑誌が二冊発行された。「緊急復刊アサヒグラフ 東北関東大震災」と「サンデー毎日緊急増刊 東日本大震災」だ。いずれもかつて存在した「グラフ雑誌」のフォーマットを踏襲している。



















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The New York Timesの震災報道写真

Posted in 3.11 by iseki ken on 2011-03-22

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