dried sunflower [sunflower project]  | 2011

sunflowers grown in Fukushima and Ibaraki
H2500 W4000 D4000 (mm)

impermanent preservation [sunflower project]  | 2012

sunflowers grown in Fukushima and Ibaraki, paraffin wax
H200 W11600 D10500 (mm)

The use of sunflowers to remove radioactive materials from the land became a hot topic for discussion after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Sunflowers are considered to be special plants that favor the absorption of radioactive materials. As such, many sunflowers were planted in affected areas in 2011. I saw many sunflowers blooming in the summer of 2011. Visually, those flowers were just aesthetically beautiful, but they contained people's mixed feelings and hopes that are invisible. However, in September 2011, investigations reported that using sunflowers for soil remediation is ineffective. I felt a strong necessity to record and show this fact. I think that the sunflowers became a representation of desperate hope in 2011. I presented the process of drying the sunflowers and preserving them in paraffin wax, to show the progression of the “sunflower project”, which started in April 2011.