A Photo View of Fukushima 5 years after.
After the 11th March Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, numerous towns within 20 miles of the nuclear disaster site in Japan found themselves in the evacuation zone, but this photographer Keow Wee Loong, insisted on taking a look at these zones through his camera lens, and the images are gripping.
The scenes witnessed by Loong are something you would only see in a well-scripted Hollywood horror thriller film, or a video game. Isolated markets, barren streets, remote towns and unoccupied homes are a few of the depressing sights that welcome you. But these images are posed as eerily beautiful sights through the eyes and lens of Loong.
The nuclear disaster was a result of the destructive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 and since then, these towns have been kept cut off from all contact and one needs a special permit to even enter these areas.
Loong, a Malaysian photographer, was unwilling to go through the hassle of acquiring a permit, which seemed like an unnecessarily difficult task, so instead, the 27-year old chose to avoid the authorities by boldly going through the forest to get to the towns of Okuma, Futaba and Namie, without the necessary paperwork.
In his description of his experience, Loong mentioned that he found it “amazing” to walk through the forest at 2am with nothing but a GPS and a map to guide him.
In one of his pictures, you can see Loong sitting cross-legged on the floor of a magazine aisle in a supermarket, surrounded by piles of magazines, flipping through the pages of one that he has in his hands, and it all seems to sink in right there.
There’s even a picture of him removing abandoned clothes from a washing machine at an deserted laundromat.
Other than the fact that there is not a single soul in these towns, except for Loong, it does look like an everyday town. And if we hadn’t known better, we’d say these pictures seem like any normal town’s pictures with its blue skies, green grass, concrete roads and just about every facet that any other place has.
It is an out-of-world experience indeed, to see images of this no-man’s-land through the eyes of an adventurous soul like Loong, and the series of images bring forth the tragedy of those fearful times that not just shook this part of Japan, but the rest of the world.