Jun Kanno’s “Planet Fukushima” is a two-part record of the past ten years of life in Kanno’s home of Date City in Fukushima Prefecture.
Part one, titled “Fat Fish,” is centered around the so-called “temporary storage sites” that were installed in 2014 to store radioactively polluted material (mainly soil and vegetation) produced after the March 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear catastrophe. Kanno captures their progress throughout the years from a birds-eye perspective. The constantly growing pile of white containers filled with contaminated material is the backbone of “Fat Fish”; its sense of time is entirely dominated by the continuous growth of these sites—which look like the scales of a giant, fat fish when viewed from above. In between her observations of these temporary storage sites, Kanno inserted photographs of the community and human life that continues—almost defiantly—in Date City. In bright yet conspicuous images, Kanno shows glimpses of traditional festivals still being held, trees still growing, high-school students still celebrating their graduation, friends and strangers posing for portraits, seasons coming and going. All while the catastrophe continues to linger nearby.
In part two, titled “Little Fish,” Kanno includes photographs of all locations seen in “Fat Fish,” but photographed with a Geiger counter in the foreground.
In looking at Fukushima, Kanno weaves together micro and macro, visible and invisible, future events and past mistakes. Her work examines not only the ongoing catastrophe in Fukushima from a different perspective but also manages to connect local events to a wider scale.