Time stopped on the 9th of August, 1945 after one of the worst atrocities committed by man. The devastating impact of an atom bomb crushed the hopes and the lives of millions of Japanese men, women and children and changed the course of history forever. Although they rose from the ashes, the scar will forever remain, to always keep this in mind, the work of Photographer Shomei Tamatsu (1930, Japan) serves as a memory.

The photograph of a wristwatch frozen at 11:02 AM —the moment when the nuclear catastrophe eclipsed the sun, the purity of the air and the intent of art— is part of the shocking recording of the event. Fifteen years after the event, Shomei Tamatsu, with an already extensive career in the field of social report, walked out into the street and registers the changes in his country. He studied economy and then taught himself photography during critically important decades for this new art form, which at the time found vigorous practitioners who gave it a voice.

Last year, the work of Shomei, along with other major artists with unique backgrounds (Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, David Goldblatt, Graciela Iturbide, Boris Mikhailov, Sigmar Polke, Malick Sidibé and Li Zhensheng), was shown at the Barbican Centre in London. Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s was the name of the exhibition, which comprised 400 lesser-known works by these artists.

One of the most representative images by the octogenarian photographer is of a glass bottle that melted with the heat of the atomic explosion, another example of beauty sparked by catastrophe —Eros and Thanatos, inseparable opposites, are the essence and vigor in the work of Tamatsu, a photographer whose contrasts have moved the world.

Time stopped on the 9th of August, 1945 after one of the worst atrocities committed by man. The devastating impact of an atom bomb crushed the hopes and the lives of millions of Japanese men, women and children and changed the course of history forever. Although they rose from the ashes, the scar will forever remain, to always keep this in mind, the work of Photographer Shomei Tamatsu (1930, Japan) serves as a memory.

The photograph of a wristwatch frozen at 11:02 AM —the moment when the nuclear catastrophe eclipsed the sun, the purity of the air and the intent of art— is part of the shocking recording of the event. Fifteen years after the event, Shomei Tamatsu, with an already extensive career in the field of social report, walked out into the street and registers the changes in his country. He studied economy and then taught himself photography during critically important decades for this new art form, which at the time found vigorous practitioners who gave it a voice.

Last year, the work of Shomei, along with other major artists with unique backgrounds (Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, David Goldblatt, Graciela Iturbide, Boris Mikhailov, Sigmar Polke, Malick Sidibé and Li Zhensheng), was shown at the Barbican Centre in London. Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s was the name of the exhibition, which comprised 400 lesser-known works by these artists.

One of the most representative images by the octogenarian photographer is of a glass bottle that melted with the heat of the atomic explosion, another example of beauty sparked by catastrophe —Eros and Thanatos, inseparable opposites, are the essence and vigor in the work of Tamatsu, a photographer whose contrasts have moved the world.

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