DEFINITION AND MEANING
There are many different definitions of the word 'Restoration' but to many it is simply the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment.
To me the meaning of 'Restoration' is any attempt to conserve and repair architecture, paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and objects of the decorative arts that have been adversely affected by negligence, willful damage, or, more usually, the inevitable decay caused by the effects of time and human use on the materials of which they are made.
Definitions: Decay: To become decomposed to decline in excellence Erosion: The process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, wind and waves etc. Breakdown: Breaking down, wearing out, sudden loss of ability to function division into parts. Renewal: The act of renewing, state of being renewed.
KEYWORDS - RESTORATION
Technology, Renewal, Decay, Breakdown, Erosion, Reusable, Time, Revive, Bring Back, Rebuild, Improve, Renovate, Repair, Retouch, Update, Regeneration.
Words to focus on - Recollection, Aging, Decay, Vintage, Old.
After brainstorming my first possible idea for my focus - Decay, I thought it may be too hard to restore decaying as it is something that naturally exists. It is also a difficult topic and may be hard for the viewers of my art to understand. Although I am still going to stick to the focus of Decaying and show more about the side of decaying rather than restoring decaying parts.
FOCUS AND PERSONAL FOCUS
The focus of my art is the decaying of the body. Decaying is to 'rot or decompose through the action of bacteria and fungi'. The interest and aesthetic and symbolic qualities of decaying and decomposing matter has persisted throughout the history of art.
After researching about Decay I finally came across the outbreak of Radioactive Decay and Nuclear Decay in Fukushima, Japan. From this I was able to determine my main focus and research. One article that I came across was 'The Radioactive Man Who Returned To Fukushima To Feed The Animals That Everyone Else Left Behind'.
The untold human suffering and property damage left in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan has been well-documented, but there’s another population that suffered greatly that few have discussed. The animals, many left behind in the radioactive exclusion zone. One man, however, hasn’t forgotten – 55-year-old Naoto Matsumura, a former construction worker who lives in the zone to care for its four-legged survivors.
He is known as the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’ because of the work he does to feed the animals left behind by people in their rush to evacuate the government’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone. He is aware of the radiation he is subject to on a daily basis, but says that he “refuses to worry about it.” He does take steps, however, by only eating food imported into the zone.
This story helped me to focus on my main topic of Decay, it shows the true story of what happened in Fukushima and helped me expand my main focus to show other aspects of Fukushima such as Radioactive Decay and Nuclear Decay which has been evident throughout Japan for years.
"Radioactive decay (also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity) is the process by which the nucleus of an unstable atom loses energy by emitting radiation, including alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays and conversion electrons. A material that spontaneously emits such radiation is considered radioactive."
Another article I researched was 'Inside the Fukushima nuclear power plant, five years after the disaster was triggered by an earthquake and tsunami'. The article states that fives years on, the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is an eerie ghost town. It goes on to say that dangerous radioactive water and waste remains, and locals are still unable to return to their abandoned homes. Many of them have moved on, but others are living in temporary housing just outside of the exclusion zone.
The disaster occurred after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a 10-metre high tsunami that crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011, causing multiple meltdowns. This year marked the fifth anniversary of the natural disaster that claimed about 18,500 lives, flattened coastal communities, and set off the worst atomic crisis in a generation.
The disaster meant a 160,000 people were forced to flee their homes — possibly forever — in wake of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. The radiation at the Fukushima plant is still so powerful it is impossible to extract and remove deadly melted fuel rods.
BRAINSTORMING - Aim of Folio
The aim of my folio is to remind people about the devastation disaster that occurred in Fukushima Japan and the importance of always remembering and looking back at it. And also to show the effect it had on families living within Fukushima and having to deal with this devastation for the rest of their life.
Why remind people? People need to be reminded of devastation in order to show them how good they have it, compared to the hundreds of thousands who were affected by the disaster.
FORMS OF ART
I want to mainly focus of the drawing aspect as that is what I feel comfortable doing, I also want to involve photography into my pieces.
SPECIFIC RESEARCH ON FOCUS
After doing a vast amount of research on the radioactive and nuclear decay of Fukushima, Japan, I started to research about my main focus 'decay'.
"(of organic matter) rot or decompose through the action of bacteria and fungi."
Artists' interest in the aesthetic and symbolic qualities of decaying and decomposing matter has persisted throughout the history of art. Images of ruins as symbols of natural devastation, the transience of the built environment, and human mortality first emerged in Renaissance paintings.
“Ideas decompose into stones of unknowing, and conceptual crystallizations break apart into deposits of gritty reason.” —Robert Smithson
Representations of deterioration and decay continued through the Romantic period, exemplified by Hubert Robert’s etchings of statuary fragments, and into the 20th century; Nicholas Nixon’s portraits of AIDS victims in the 1980s captured with grotesque realism the physical deterioration of the human body, while Aaron Siskind’s close-up images of weathered and rusted wall reliefs and filmmaker Tacita Dean’s extended shots of fading carpets and rotting fruits explore a fascination with the material qualities of decay.
The world around us continues to decay before our eyes, with many of us doing nothing about it and expecting it to restore itself. There is consequences to our actions. Decaying may never be restored, unless we change.
The melting faces reflects the emotions felt by people effected by the disaster of Fukushima. The melting faces shows the effects of Radioactive decay on the body and what could happen. The use of other drawings related to the incident such as the Nuclear symbol, a skull and Japanese characters help to emphasize what the focus of the image is.
My context is decaying of the body, my art revolves around the effects of decaying and I have drawn and edited pictures relating to this context. By using images related to the Fukushima Disaster and drawing faces melting in a grime manner it shows my context.
Art that has influenced me towards what I will be creating is Low Brow Art. Lowbrow art describes an underground visual art movement that arose in the Los Angeles, California, area in the late 1970s. It is a populist art movement with its cultural roots in underground comix, punk music, and hot-rod cultures of the street. It is also often known by the name pop surrealism.
A Low Brow Artist who has influenced me is Robert Williams, he is an American painter, cartoonist, and founder of Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine. Williams was one of the group of artists who produced Zap Comix, along with other underground cartoonists, such as Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, and Gilbert Shelton. His mix of California car culture, cinematic apocalyptic-ism, and film noir helped to create a new genre of psychedelic imagery.
His work helped me begin my process of drawing, his techniques or drawing and small details in each drawing are what influenced me the most.
Another artist who influenced me is Richie Velasquez, a.k.a. Dela Deso. His art symbolizes the marriage of radioactive ideas—and often materials—with classic mediums like sculpture and film with. The result is a face-melting acid green Mona Lisa. With disasters like Fukushima still fresh in the collective conscious, many artists grapple with how to feel about nuclear energy and the consequences thereof. Velasquez's illustration thus captures this clash between old mediums and new ideas.
Radioactive materials are an everyday part of life, powering cities all over the world, summoning fear of cancer or hope for super powers (depending on how many comic books you've read) in pop culture. Artists like Trevor Paglen, Chim Pom, and Phillip Stearns have harnessed these emotions in works ranging from sculptures made from radioactive material, to a visual remix of a Geiger counter. How we decide to deal with nuclear energy (and waste) will affect future generations for 10,000 years, and these works inform that process.
Stage one started off by experimenting with Grime art. By drawing on Baking Paper and transferring my drawing onto photos. Through the use of Adobe Capture i was able to do so.
Stage one consist of three images that all relate to the topic of decaying in Japan. I used famous images relating to Japan so viewers can understand what the images are about. I used the Rising Sun, The Great Wave and Fugi Mountain throughout my three images which are well-known art within Japan.
My first image consist of the melting face of a man and the Rising Sun behind him with the Nuclear symbol in the middle. The melting face represents the nuclear decay and the effects it would have on someone living within Fukushima. The face shows the emotions of the people who were living within Fukushima and the pain that was caused by having to move away from their home. The Rising Sun shows that it is in Japan and the nuclear symbol is used to show the Nuclear effect that happened.
My second piece consist of the Great Wave, a melting skull and the iconic fish from the t.v. show 'The Simpsons'. I included the fish as it is an iconic image that is seen throughout t.v. that shows the effects of nuclear waste. By using this fish in my imagery viewers can relate to it and understand that the image relates to nuclear waste. The melting skull shows the effects of decay and carries on from the melting face and what will happen. Just like the Rising Sun, the Great Wave shows that it is relevant to Japan.
My third digital imagery has relative imagery to the other two pieces such as the skull, the Rising Sun and the nuclear symbol. This image also has Mt Fugi in it to show that it relates to Japan. I've also used another iconic Japan image which is the temple on the hill.
Stage two consist of relevant imagery to my topic, which is the melting faces. This stage consist of three images with melting faces over the top. My influential artist Dela Deso helped me to create this art by getting inspiration from his art. I used images done by Sprhuman Photography, which is an article relating to the devastation of Fukushima.
Back in 2011 the world was shocked by the terrifying disaster in Fukushima, Japan. Endles peoples have lost their home, family and jobs. Because of the huge nuclear danger, the inhabitants were forced to leave the city. Two photographers Carlos Ayesta and Guillaume Bression traveled to this small city located at the Japanse coast, and started this project entitled “Retracing Our Steps”. For that they asked some of the locals to return back to the place they called home. The serie is very impressive filled of emotions..
After choosing the images I wanted to use, I used the program Adobe Capture were i created vectors for the faces and then colored them in bright highlight colors to distinguish from the decaying background so they would pop out. I then edited the photos to highlight the yellow within the photo which came out nice, giving it a decaying, rotting look to the image.
I chose this photo from the collection as I feel that the photo shows the darkness and sickness of Fukushima. It shows the loneliness felt by the man sitting by himself at the bar. The decay can be seen from the roofs collapsing and the dirty grimy look of the bar itself.
My second image i chose for the same reason as the first one. The emotions shown on the mans face shows the emotions felt by all the people hurt by the Fukushima Dachii Disaster. The background with everything in a mess and the harsh industrial feel to the image helps emphasize the image.
My last photo consist of a woman doing her washing in an abandoned washing room. After editing the images and bringing out the yellows it gave the image more of a grimy decay look which I liked. I wanted to put a nuclear symbol in one of the washing machine holes but in the end didn't as i thought it would take away in focus on the woman's face.
Stage three is two large A2 drawings which includes images related to my other art (Melting Face, Great Wave, Skull, Rising Sun and the Nuclear Symbol).
Image one is of the Great Wave with a skull breathing in the fumes coming from the nuclear towers, and has the title Fukushima Dachii and the date of the disaster. I involved the skull to relate to my other images and it is breathing in the fumes and showing the effects thus dying, turning into a skull. After looking at the image for a while i decided to involve one color in both images to relate back to my other photography which consist of bright highlight colors.
Again this drawing consist of the same imagery seen in my other art and includes the bright nuclear symbol. The melting face is the same seen in my digital imagery. In the bottom left corner I have drawn four men in nuclear suits dancing and one with a radio. I drew this because I thought it was quirky and funny and to bring some fun into the image instead of having a dull image. The drawing in the right bottom corner I found while looking through nuclear decay in Japan, which was on a nuclear barrel.
Is the technique successful and help interpret meaning in my artwork?
The technique incorporated into my work is referred to as Grime Art, I do believe that this technique successfully helps interpret the meaning of my artwork, which is decaying is taking over the world and affects everyone personally.