Norbert Schoerner

The nature of nature. Fukushima Project

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.

By photographing the bonsais there are created dioramic surroundings. 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.

Accompanies the exhibition ‘The nature of nature: Fukushima Project’, 14 May – 18 Sep, 2022, MAK Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt.

This is the English Edition of this book.

Co-published with MAK FFM.

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