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War Photographer 

Wednesday, Jan 2 2008
Last autumn, Japanese artist Katsushige Nakahashi took 20,000 photographs of a single object -- a model of a World War II Japanese Kaiten submarine, outfitted to man a single Kamikaze pilot. The model was toy sized, 1:32 scale of the real thing, meaning he got in really tight with his macro lens. Now, as part of his show "The Depth of Memory," Nakahashi is rescaling the torpedo back to full size, assembling a 50-foot, three-dimensional simulacrum of the machine in a gallery using those 20K photographs -- and a little help from you (head to the Web site to volunteer). Last year he pulled off a similar feat with 25,000 photos of a model of a Japanese Zero, taking 27 pictures for every square centimeter. At the close of the exhibit, he carted the floppy "soft sculpture" out to the site of a bomb shelter in Hawaii and set it ablaze. The Kaiten, too, will be burned, though after it travels to Japan at the end the exhibition.

Accompanying the sub is a 40-foot image of the deck of the USS Missouri, at the exact spot where a Kamikaze fighter hit the ship. Once again, Nakahashi's process is extraordinary: The piece is created from 5,000 photographs of the ship's deck, which he took from sunrise to sunset on the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Jan. 3-March 22, 2008

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Michael Leaverton


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