In the beginning there was an earthquake, then a massive wave took everything.
But just as things wouldn’t be any worse, an explosion at Fukushima coast released dangerous amounts of radiation. Survival instinct took over the grieving as people had little time to react to strings of unfortunate events. They left behind things that were precious to them and escaped. And the trauma remains, like ghosts of the dead lingering upon the land. Over time as debris is cleared and towns are being rebuilt, sorrow persists.
Pengkuei “Ben” Huang began visiting Tohoku coast in Northeastern Japan in 2012 with an idea of documenting the transformation in the aftermath of the disaster. Through his years of journeys, he began to learn how a supposed recovery effort had a profound impact on the environment and the people living on these lands.
These photographs are the testament of such a shift. They tell a story of hope and uncertainty of the future, as well as grieving for the lost. It is hopeful yet somber, fragile yet strong, and vulnerable but determined as the region and its inhabitants come to terms with the tragedy.