SCOTIABANK CONTACT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL
MAY 2019 at URBAN GALLERY
‘SOLEMN PINES, FADING THINGS'
POST TSUNAMI TOHOKU 2012-2018
SOLO EXHIBITION by PENGKUEI (Ben) HUANG
EXHIBITION DATES: May 2 to May 31 2019
In the beginning there was an earthquake, then a massive wave took everything.
Just as things couldn’t be any worse, an explosion at the Fukushima reactor released dangerous amounts of radiation. Survival instinct took over grieving as people had little time to react to strings of unfortunate events. They left behind things that were precious to them and escaped.
The trauma remains, like ghosts of the dead lingering upon the land. Over time as debris is cleared and towns are being rebuilt, sorrow persists.
Pengkuei 'Ben' Huang began visiting Tohoku coast in Northeastern Japan in 2012 with an idea of documenting the transformation in the aftermath of the disaster. Over the years of his journeys, he began to learn how a supposed recovery effort had a profound impact on the environment and the people living on these lands.
These photographs are the testament to such a shift. They tell a story of hope and uncertainty of the future, as well as grieving for the lost. It is hopeful yet somber, fragile yet strong, and vulnerable but determined as the region and its inhabitants are trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
PENGKUEI (Ben) HUANG www.benhuangphotos.com