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Daniel Blau : X-Ray Japan 1945


Daniel Blau presents the Limited-Edition Exhibition Publication X-Ray Japan 1945.

With Misled: German Youth 1933-1945 and 1937 – Japan Attacks China! Daniel Blau has established himself as a necessary name in historical photography. Now, coinciding with memorials marking 75 years since the final bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, Daniel Blau presents another collection of documentary photographs capturing one of the darkest moments in modern history. 33 photos, spread across 64 pages, represent the work of both American and Japanese artists and documentarians, including among others Hiromichi Matsuda, Torahiko Ogawa, Yoshito Matsushige, Yōsuke Yamahata, and photographers from the U.S. Army Air Force.

75 years ago, Japan was shaken by two atomic bombs, bringing a swift end to the Second World War. Powerful shockwaves and firestorms destroyed buildings and infrastructure; many thousands of people lost their lives. The catalogue before you now brings together a collection of rarely or never-before seen photographs taken on the day of the bombing itself or immediately afterwards.

The photographs in the illustrated portion of the book are negatives, leading viewers along a path of more complex and contemplative observation, one that goes far beyond the matter of simply illustrating and reassessing historical events. The artistic-aesthetic qualities of these photographs move even if only briefly to the foreground, provoking the observer in ways that span the entire spectrum of his moral, medical, philosophical, and artistic-aesthetic understanding.

Very little time elapsed between the moment these pictures were taken and the creation of the historical prints exhibited here; the prints themselves, therefore, bear an aura of the events they record, aided in part by the slugs and stamps often found printed and applied to the reverse. The prints act as mediators between the photograph and the viewer, between 1945 and 2020. The presentation of these images, set free from their origins as tools of total war, offers a new degree of observation, one which allows an artistic gaze to seep into our perception of these events, perhaps (once again) for the first time. If the constant deluge of war journalism and the images it produces has already desensitized us, made us blind and oblivious to the realities of conflict and destruction, then perhaps this publication can be taken as an opportunity to grow closer to the photographer himself, to the role he plays as a creator of compositional truth, and to the desires and concerns so near to him in the mo- ment of his documentary and artistic creation.


X-Ray Japan 1945

Printed and bound by Pelo-Druck Lohner oHG Paper content: Offset 50g/m2

Paper cover: Olin, Rough, cream, 200g/m2 Published: 2020

64 pages, 33 images

15×21 cm, softcover

ISBN: 978-3-9821983-2-3

Price: 5,00 Euro plus shipping


Editor: Daniel Blau

Text: Katharina Rohmeder Editor: Robert Isaf

Layout: Christiane Wunsch


Daniel Blau

Maximilianstraße 26·

80539 München· Deutschland


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