Group of Japanese and American artists photograph Peace Memorial Museum with 360-degree camera to create virtual tour

(by Yuji Yamamoto, Staff Writer)

Online event to publicly release images starting August 6

A group of Japanese and American artists, known by the name 1Future, has been taking photographs with 360-degree cameras of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in the city’s Naka Ward. With permission from the museum, the group’s members have been engaged in work that includes photographing the museum’s permanent exhibits and the building’s exterior to create images that will enable viewers to participate in a virtual tour of the museum. The group’s work will be made public as part of the online event Zero Project 2020, scheduled to be held during the period August 6–30.

After the museum closed for the day, the group’s photo team would bring cameras into the main building and take photos in all directions while moving the cameras about one meter for each new shot. The team spent three days capturing images of the entire tour route lined on both sides with displays that include the clothing of A-bomb victims and A-bomb paintings created by citizens. Once they are edited with a unique software system, the photos will make up digital imagery that provide viewers with the virtual experience of viewing exhibits and reading the descriptions beside them as if they were actually walking inside the museum.

The team also shot frame-by-frame photos of materials with damage from the atomic bombing still evident. The photos will be processed to create 3-D images and completed into a single digital artwork titled “Future Memories,” in combination with the photos taken inside the building, as described above. Akira Fujimoto, 44, a team member from Tokyo, said, “Under the circumstance in which the number of A-bomb survivors is declining, we want to learn more about the atomic bombings based on this new method and share our wish for peace with others.”

1Future is a non-profit organization based in the United States, and Cannon Hersey, 43, serves as the group’s representative director. Mr. Hersey’s grandfather, John Hersey, was author of the book titled Hiroshima, with which he reported to the world before anyone else about the horrifying conditions of the A-bombed city. Under sponsorship of the Hiroshima International Cultural Foundation, the group has held an event in Hiroshima every year since 2017.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the group will limit the holding of this year’s event to the internet. In addition to the release of “Future Memories,” the group is scheduled to hold several programs during the event, including one in which Cannon Hersey, along with others, explains his grandfather’s book Hiroshima.

(Originally published on July 12, 2020)