The Silent Victims

July 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

I could not believe I found this book

Japanese Wartime Zoo Policy | The Silent Victims of World War II by Mayumi Itoh.

Initially my project was to be an exploration of visualising as World War II Campaign, and I had chosen the Sino-Japanese War. Then I came across this thoroughly researched and detailed book accounting the Wartime Zoo Policy and the animals destroyed in consequence. It goes back to that story in Wind-Up Bird Chronicle I mentioned in the previous post. In fact, Murakami’s novel is actually mentioned in Itoh’s book and thus discovered that parts of that narrative is historical fact and that Murakami is known to include history in his novels as an intricate part of his narratives. Itoh’s book discusses the background of this policy then discusses the animals that were destroyed from each Japanese Zoo. It also goes into Europe, however I’m focusing on Japan for my project. This project allows me to revisit my interest in Modern History. The book also includes photographs of the animals and tables communicating the animals destroyed and how they were destroyed. I think that this account is a unique perspective of World War II; it shows the implications of war beyond man – in response to the publication’s dedication –

 For the animals who perished in the march of human folly

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

A few months ago I was reading

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

and referred to it’s themes of the ‘unknown’ and ‘curiosity’ for my project Appetite for Curiosity. In this most intriguing novel I came across the narrative of a zoo in the Japanese state of Manchuria. It tells a ‘chronicle’ of a vet’s interaction with Japanese soldiers ordered to destroy the remaining ‘dangerous’ animals and take provisions from the zoo…

In The Wilds

July 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

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The moment I came across this book in Kinokuniya I fell in love. I was so impressed with the illustrations and the colours that I was beyond inspired. IN THE WILDS is a beautiful and charming collection of illustrations. Nigel Peake is to be the chief driver behind the visual language for my Project. I find that this aesthetic brings out a balanced sense of the organic and playfulness. History is often ‘illustrated’ through photography and cartography, but why not expressive illustration? I feel that illustration will introduce that sensitivity that one should feel when interacting with historical material. In terms of the direction I want the visual language I want to engage with historical content; I would like it to be sensitive to the context yet also have that charming illustrative expression that evokes compassion rather than demands sympathy with hard hitting bleak imagery.

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