Street Level Photoworks logo
Talks

Takashi Arai

Saturday 8th August, 3pm

Following his fully booked talk at Stills, who are hosting his exhibition ‘Daily D-Type’ as part of Actinic, we are pleased to announce that Takashi Arai will give a slide talk on his work in Glasgow, in association with Alternative Photography Scotland. Tokyo-based artist Takashi Arai is well-known as a unique contemporary daguerreotypist in Japan. His work is not meant to showcase the object being depicted, but instead the medium of photography itself. Takashi Arai first encountered photography while he was a university student of biology. In an effort to trace photography to its origins, he encountered daguerreotype, and after much trial and error mastered the complex technique.

Arai does not see daguerreotype as a nostalgic reproduction of a classical method; instead, he has made it his own personal medium, finding it a reliable device for storing memory that is far better for recording and transmitting interactions with his subjects than modern photography. Beginning in 2010, when he first became interested in nuclear issues, Arai has used the daguerreotype technique to create individual records—micro-monuments—of his encounters with surviving crew members, and the salvaged hull, of the fallout-contaminated Daigo Fukuryumaru fishing boat, records that touch upon the fragmented reality of events in the past. This project led him to photograph the deeply interconnected subjects of Fukushima, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. 

Arai’s work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, at the Mori Art Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, among other Japanese venues, as well as abroad.
In 2014, he received the Source-Cord Prize, sponsored by Source Magazine. His works are held in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and Musée Adrien Mentienne, in France, among others. 

‘If art is something that we cannot stop demanding to overpower us, or to transcend human knowledge and death, perhaps the new suns unveiled by those thermonuclear bombs are some extreme realization of this demand—even if this is something that leaves an unremovable curse on the earth… Now, waiting with bated breath for enigmatic signs from something gigantic, I walk through a blighted land. Hoping those daguerreotypes last for generations as new monuments for us, I hold up a small silver plate towards things that were burned—and, even today, are still being burned—by a hundred suns.’ 

From ‘Exposed in a Hundred Suns’

Takashi will present a range of his work and in the second half of this event, will be in discussion with photographer, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

Free but ticketed, book via Eventbrite.