Record of Bombing

In the 1990s, there were plans to construct a memorial hall in Tokyo to commemorate the victims of war and communicate the experience of war to future generations. Incorporating displays that would have described Japanese aggression, the plans were disputed in the Metropolitan Assembly over their potential discrepancy from the official recognition of the war history, and there has been a freeze on funding for the project since 1999. It is said that as a result some 5040 documents and materials related to the war, including video testimonies by 330 individuals, were packed away in ceremonial wooden boxes that are now stored in an art museum in the metropolitan area.

Although the artist asked the loan of the above collection for the exhibition, Tokyo metropolitan foundation for History and Culture, who controls the collection, and who has jurisdiction over the Museum of contemporary Art Tokyo, declined the request. As a result, the artist decided to make an installation with only the text and the captions written for the collection, based on the real but suspended installation plan made for the memorial hall at that time. He also made some films in which the local war survivors help him installing the newly remade captions in the exhibition space. The captions which describe the war damages reminded the aged survivors of the vivid memory of Tokyo bombing. While Fujii’s shooting, they could not stop talking about the war. The space without any artifact was wholly void and white. However, the spoken word of their memory by the survivors appeared. The voices evoked not only Tokyo bombing itself but also the actual war scenes in the world.