The Exhibition: 311 Lost Homes, TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo

The TOTO Gallery MA, Tokyo, is currently presenting an interesting — if not poignant — exhibition titled 311 Lost Homes.
311: Lost Homes Exhibition, TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo

This exhibition was first accompanied with a symposium, on November 2nd. Architects — Toyo Ito, Yasuaki Onoda, Senhiko Nakata, Kengo Kuma, Jun Aoki, Kazuyo Sejima, Kazuhiro Kojima, Riken Yamamoto, and Ryuji Fujimura — were invited to discuss a set of concrete approaches to disaster recovery and urban revitalization.
It is curated by Hiroshi Naito and Kenya Hara. Hence an architectural approach of the scenography that, in my opinion, is very pleasant to see.

3.11 is now inscribed as a major date for Japanese as it can be considered as a starting point for a new reflection on city design. It, anyway, raises lots of questions that will probably remain open. And this is what this exhibition 311: Lost Homes attempts to examine. There is no point of view, no denunciation of city planning before earthquake, just an attempt of exploring Japanese before their destruction, maybe, afterall, with the aim of engaging a discussion on Post-traumatic Japanese cities. This was, at the very least, the purpose of the symposium.

Divided into two levels, the exhibition explores the effects of the 3.11 events — earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. All these models show the cities before being damaged as if they were frozen such as ghost cities. The shock is still there as frozen, too.

The 9.0-magnitude undersea Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster, namely Higashi Nihon Daishinsai —, followed by a massive 133-feet (40.5-meter) tsunami, destroyed, on March 11th, 45,700 buildings, damaging 144,300, killing 15,836 people, injuring 5,948 while 3,650 people are missing.

In the first level, a display of white 1/500-scale models of fourteen townscapes and cities from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures — Noda Village, Taro-cho, Kamaishi City, Ofunato City, Rikuzentakata City, Kesennuma City, Minami Senriku-cho, Onagawa-cho, Oshika-gun, Ishinomaki City, Sendai City, Soma City, Namie-machi, Futaba-gun — represent these cities before their destruction. These models have been produced by Osamu Tsukihashi based on the plans of these towns and cities before their destruction. These models include satellite images of these townscapes and cities before and after their destructions and visual datas.

311 Scale — Hypocenters and Intensity levels of Earthquake Tremor.
© 311 Scale
On the walls, four types of infographics explain precisely the impact of the 3.11 events not only in the concerned areas but also in the whole country and overseas such as the nuclear radiations infographics.

311 Scale — Area Surounding. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
© 311 Scale
These infographics represent datas of earthquake, tsunami, nuclear radiation and electric power such as heights of tsunamis caused by the earthquake in all parts of Japan (below).

311 Scale — Heights of Tsunamis Caused by the Main Earthquake in All Parts of Japan.
© 311 Scale

On the second level, in addition to these white models and infographics on the walls, two videos projected on wall show once again datas.

311 Scale — Radiation Levels Across Japan and in Major Global Cities
© 311 Scale
The installation makes the exhibition easy to understand not only spatially but as also in terms as a visitor said

311 Scale — Daily Power Usage of This Year and Last Year (TEPCO service area)
© 311 Scale
The exhibition is open up to December 24th, 2011 at TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo.
Visual datas: Here (in English and in Japanese).

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