Lee Basford – Tohoku, Japan

Today it’s one year ago that an earthquake and tsunami shook up the Japanse pacific coast of Tōhoku. Last year we showed you the pictures shot on that day by our friend Charlie Kirk. To commemorate this tragedy we have the honor to show you the images of Lee Basford (you might remember the images he shot in Kushiro, Japan). Lee has been concentrating much more on his photography recently and slowly building a versitile body of work. As a result of that he has been meeting with some very interesting people this year. I get the feeling that 2012 is going to be a very productive and good year for our friend Lee!

“We traveled along the entire coastline where the tsunami had struck, zig zagging inland when the roads were blocked. “

Basford -Tohoku, Japan 06

Basford -Tohoku, Japan 06

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

“I’ve only shown one of these images online (the road) because at the time it didn’t feel quite right, its only in the last week that I’ve gone back to look at the photographs and selected this series.”

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

One image that is particularly important is that with the clocks – These have all stopped at the time of the tsunami.

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

“I had the opportunity to travel with a small Japanese team that had been helping since the beginning (and still are), they were there just a few days after the disaster. Taking fuel and supplies, counselling and helping people throughout the affected areas. We travelled along the entire coastline where the tsunami had struck, zig zagging inland when the roads were blocked. We visited Ishinomaki, Minami Sanriku, Kesennuma and other areas in-between.

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

At the time I took the photographs there was a lot of information out there about the disaster, I published one picture, but it felt wrong in some ways to add to what was already media saturation, my photographs were not really making people more aware of the situation. I needed time away from the images to fully appreciate them also, I think I made the right choice. Coming back to them almost a year later I see them differently now, and it feels like the right time to remind people about the scale of the disaster and that there is still so much to be done, people in Japan don’t want the world to forget.”

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

Basford -Tohoku, Japan

About Lee Basford

Lee is a graphic designer, artist and photographer working in and around the overlap of art and design, blending these disciplines to create work for arts, film, fashion, video games and music companies that include Sony, UNIQLO, Nike, Capcom, Sega, EMI, Parlophone, Saatchi, and Artificial Eye.