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Study of Abandoned Mines and Forests
2019-​2021/ 2023-
chromogenic print

Installation view from How we create a LANDSCAPE, Citizens Gallery B, Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo, 2021

​photo by Yu Suzuki

There is only few metal mine in Japan that is still operating on a commercial scale. Most of the mines in Japan were closed about half a century ago, but the mines that were the cornerstones of Japan's modernization due to large-scale mining still face various problems: toxic wastewater from metal smelting, tailings dams to treat rainwater that flows into the tunnels, sedimentation sites to dump unwanted gravel and earth from smelting, smoke emissions from smelting during mine operations, and vegetation in the forests that was destroyed by logging. They are still left behind in the depths of the mountains.


We are living in a time when we are surrounded by metal products more than at any other time in history. If we remove metal from our surroundings, what will be left? Almost everything in the kitchen, living room, and dining room is made of metal. What would remain would be some tableware such as cutting boards and chopsticks, foodstuffs, and fabrics without metal fittings such as carpets. Even these items must have metal parts in the production line, and it seems that there is no man-made object in modern society that does not involve metal from production to consumption.

Despite this, we do not often think about where metals come from. We can somehow imagine that they are excavated from the earth, and that they are manufactured through some process, but we do not think about the places where they are mined, the environmental impact of the mining process, or the impact on our daily lives.


Is it because we take it too much for granted?

Is it because it is too obvious? Is it because it becomes difficult to lead our daily lives once we start thinking about it?

Is it because it is not worth thinking about?


史上最も金属製品に囲まれた時代に私たちは生きている。身の回りから金属を取り除いていくと何が残るだろう。キッチンやリビング、ダイニングにあるほとんどのものに金属が使われている。残るのはまな板や箸など一部の食器と、食材、カーペットなどの金具のないファブリック類くらいだろう。それらですら、生産ラインには金属部品が使われているはずで、生産から消費まで金属が関わっていない人工物など、現代社会には存在しないように思える 。




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