Born in Fukui Prefecture in 1939, Hiromi Tsuchida studied engineering before enrolling in the Tokyo College of Photography in 1965 where he was later to return as a professor. He became a freelance photographer in 1971. Tsuchida began to receive recognition for his work early in his career with his first solo exhibition 'Autistic Space' at Nikon Salon in Ginza, Tokyo in 1971 and was included in the seminal 1974 exhibition 'New Japanese Photography' at MoMA in New York. His first publication 'Zokushin' (Gods of the Earth, 1976) won high praise and became the subject of national and international (Amsterdam, 1978) exhibitions. Other acclaimed series include 'Counting Grains of Sand' (1976-89) and his several projects on Hiroshima ('Hiroshima 1945-1978', with portraits of the victims; 'Hiroshima Monument', 1979; 'Testimonies of Hiroshima', 1982; Hiroshima Collection, 1995).
In 2007, the retrospective 'Hiromi Tsuchida's Japan' was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography for which he received the 27th Annual Ken Domon Award. His works can be found in, among others, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, the MoMA in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
These photographs that will be exhibited at Paris Photo Prismes are from Hiromi Tsuchida's project entailing a profound exploration of the impact of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Tsuchida started photographing objects from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum 37 years after the bomb, returning for a second time in 1995 to continue the series. Tsuchida has stated that 'the event at Hiroshima did not end in 1945; but began a new historical era leading toward the 21st century.' Neither Tsuchida nor his family were present at the explosion, however it is this gap between experiencing the explosion and encountering the traces of it that his work explores. He has photographed the victim's personal belongings as a 'documentarian'. This neutrality is evident from the simple presentation of each personal object, accompanied by a note about its owner and their distance from the hypocentre at the moment of the atomic blast, 8:15 a.m. on 6 August 1945. As museum artefacts, these ordinary things have been called upon to represent the devastating impact of the bomb. They might also be seen as stand-ins for their owners, making Tsuchida's work a form of posthumous portraiture. In 1985 Tsuchida's photos of Hiroshima travelled throughout Japan and abroad in an exhibition sponsored by UNESCO.