Takashi Arai

Takashi Arai (1978-) is a Kawasaki / Berlin-based visual artist and filmmaker. To trace photography to its origins, Arai encountered the daguerreotype and mastered its complex technique after much trial and error. Since the beginning in 2010, when he first became interested in nuclear issues, Arai has used the daguerreotype technique to create individual records — micro-monuments — to touch upon the fragmented reality of events in the past. His encounters with surviving crew members, and the salvaged hull of the fallout-contaminated Daigo Fukuryūmaru fishing boat led him to photograph the deeply interconnected subjects of Fukushima, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.


I plan to create a series of daguerreotypes and a short film on “myths of the future” or “archaeology of the future” around Onkalo, the final radioactive waste site in Olkiluoto. Onkalo is a contemporary monument that must be fully protected from human and animal access and exposure to the environment for 100,000 years. However, how can we communicate with humans living eons after, a time beyond our imagination?

On the other hand, the Sámi people have protected their monuments, such as anthropomorphic stones, for generations. Embedded in the natural landscapes, those monuments remain “invisible” to people of today. My project focuses on these two types of monuments and attempts to explore a new language that bridges the past, the present, and the world 100,000 years from now, breaking out of the temporal and spatial perspectives of the modern age.

The residency is realised in context of a collaboration between HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, Finnish Cultural Foundation and TOKAS – Tokyo Art and Space.