Fukushima Hero IV, oil monoprint on paper, 42 x 30 cm
The fourth work in my Fukushima 50 Series, a contemplation of the anonymous workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Nuclear experts in various parts of the world are saying some of these workers will most certainly die from their radiation exposure. This risk is not incidental. These workers have knowingly worked beyond the safe levels of exposure. TEPCO and the government seem only too willing to allow them to do so.
So in this work i wanted to capture some sense of kamikaze self immolation while at the same time exposing the violence being perpetrated upon these men. It is bloodless, it is technical, it is hidden under hazmat suits. But it is violence nonetheless. It is a suicide mission nonetheless.
The work was made by crushing a paper respirator mask into the wet oil-paint of the monoprint and leaving it in a press for a week under pressure.
I felt this was an apt process, symbolic of the intense and unremitting pressure these men have had to work under - the respirator and hazmat suit iconic of these latter-day samurai.