PEOPLEText: Yuko Miyakoshi

‘Level 7 feat. Myth of Tomorrow’ (2011) © Chim↑Pom, Photo: Kei Miyajima, Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

*On May 1, 2011, it was scandalously reported that Chim↑Pom added to Taro Okamoto’s “Myth of Tomorrow” at Shibuya Station a piece reminding the nuclear power plant accident. The show exhibits the original panel piece added during the performance.


Is the work to show a succession of Okamoto’s work or a homage to the artist?

Ushiro: “Myth of Tomorrow” is a nationaly-famous public art. What’s important when producing and exhibiting outdoor is if the work can simply entertain the viewers, not the way art appreciators appreciate. The work is not about our feeling for Okamoto nor collaboration, but consists of “Level 7 and Myth of Tomorrow”.

Okada: We get more direct feed-backs outside than inside galleries.

Ushiro: The work is titled “Level 7 feat. Myth of Tomorrow”. It is not remixed, collaged, sampled, nor collaborated but literally a featured work. We can say the Level 7 chose to feature Myth of Tomorrow. We don’t think so far there has been such featured style of artwork, which we like very much.

How do you get inspired?

Ushiro: Most of our meetings take place in Shibuya, and the idea hit us when we were watching “Myth of tomorrow”. It is a “chronicle of atomic bombs” referring to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Daigo Fukuryumaru. And now Fukushima… we saw an empty corner on the drawing which ends with the sea…why not add Fukushima Power Plant there… that’s how the idea got its shape.

Looking at this incident along with chronicle is crucial. Even with the lessons we learned during the 20th century from the thread of the atomic bombs, we count on nuclear energy in the 21st century. The work implies t the “Myth” of safe nuclear power plant has blinded Japan that was once nuclear victim during the 20 century, and become exposed again in 21st century. We generalized that following the art history.

When did you install the work?

Ushiro: Between 21-22h.

There must have been many observers at the site.

USHIRO: Of course. We placed the panel against the wall, hanging a part on the acrylic protective wall with weak adhesive masking tape behind the panel.
We prepared well and made it through very well and didn’t take much time.

‘REAL TIMES’ (2011) © Chim↑Pom

Ushiro: There is an observatory which now closed inside Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant property . We shot this photo before it became closed. It is a video work filming a 40 minute walk from the entrance to the observatory. The title is “TIMES” referring to that famous journal: more specifically, REAL TIMES that reports now. From the observatory, we could see the demolished and smoking buildings and the contaminated Pacific Ocean. We took out a white flag, to which we first added red circle to make a national flag and then logo of nuclear power plant. We couldn’t understand why even the media no longer cut into the area ever since the evacuation order. Even so, there are still people working in the plant. The media keep sending out the same image filmed from 30 km away from the place. We wanted to know what was exactly going on there.
Having these experiences changed the work list of this exhibition. The building we added to Okamoto’s work are actually something we saw with our own eyes and not something we saw on TV.

Read more ...

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.