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9783960700470 9783960700470_01
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Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong

Tree and Soil

ISBN: 9783960700470 (HB+ - E)

Eight years after their by now legendary publication ,Poppy - Trails of Afghan Heroin', Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong finished their next long-term project 'Tree and Soil'. After the nuclear disaster in 2011, they have photographed and filmed the changing landscapes in the closed zones around Fukushima over a period of five years. They documented evacuated farmhouses, gardens, agricultural fields and the surrounding hills and forests and interviewed former inhabitants of the area. For this book they combine their own landscape photography with historical material from naturalist and explorer von Philipp Franz von Siebold's collection. In the early 19th century Siebold had the opportunity to travel throughout the country and to take home not only vast quantities of artefacts, plant and animal specimens but also a treasure throve of woodblock prints made by artists like Kawahara Keiga. Siebold's collections --held in the Netherlands by Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden - illustrate how Japanese culture is deeply rooted in and inspired by nature. He perfectly represents the Age of Exploration in which explorers travelled the globe to uncover the secrets of the natural world. This era can be seen as a prequel to the anthropocene, in which our planet has been profoundly changed by human activity. In 'Tree and Soil' Knoth and de Jong underline the intrinsic beauty and value of nature, connecting the past and present by documenting and interpreting the transformations of the deserted landscapes around Fukushima. Exhibitions: March - May 2021: Museum Kulturspeicher, Würzburg, Museum Hundertwasser/Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna, May - August 2021: Foto Museum, The Hague

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