images courtesy tipitin | click to enlarge
Photographer Takashi Homma’s latest book is called “Mushrooms from the Forest.” But this is no mycological publication. Better known for his urban streetscapes, Homma became interested in photographing mushrooms after he learned that they absorb radiation and thrive in nuclear contaminated areas. Six months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Homma ventured into a local forest, Geiger counter in hand, and set up a portable mini-studio. There in the forest he photographed about 100 fresh specimens (they quickly decay after picking). The images were handed off to graphic designer Tanaka Yoshihisa, who compiled them into a gorgeous photobook.
The photos of irradiated mushrooms create a vaguely familiar dialogue recognizable to fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s tour de force Nausicaä. The forest is a source of life – generating the air we breathe and helping to maintain a sustainable supply of clean water. But at the hands of blind greed and misguided technology it can quickly transform into a high-radiation jungle deathtrap.