Side Gallery, Saturday 30 August, 2pm, Free, All Welcome
Mark Pearson, owner of Zen Foto Gallery (Tokyo)
introduces the work of Hiromi Tsuchida.
August 2014 sees the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.
August 2015 will see the 70th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Side Gallery presents two exhibitions from the AmberSide Collection. One explores Tyneside production of the military technology that defined ‘the war to end all wars’, the other explores the personal impacts of the bomb that has defined the geo-political picture and shaped the conflicts since the end of WWII.
The photographs in War Work date from Side Gallery’s engagement with the Save Our Scotswood Works campaign in the late 1970s. W.G. Armstrong founded his Elswick works in 1847 to make the hydraulic cranes he had invented. He developed the breech loading gun in 1854. He built and opened Newcastle’s Swing Bridge in 1876 so that naval ships could be fitted out with his guns, then opened his own Elswick shipyard in 1884. The exhibition brings together extraordinary images from the test firing of guns to the launch of ships for the navies of the world; from the visiting arms buyers of China and Japan to the communities of Elswick and Scotswood that were shaped around the trade.
Carefully documenting artefacts held at Hiroshima’s Peace Museum, the great Japanese photographer Hiromi Tsuchida has created a series of icons through which the moment of the atomic bomb’s impact resonates. A couple of melted sake bottles, a watch, a Buddha, a girl’s school uniform, a wooden clog… the story of each image focusing you in on the individual lives caught in that moment. Hiroshima has been a major subject in the artist’s work, which is held by many of the world’s major museums. Working with Mark Pearson, the Newcastle-raised owner of Tokyo’s Zen Foto Gallery, Hiromi Tsuchida recently deposited this set of his Hiroshima photographs in the AmberSide Collection.