Los Angeles photo exhibit displays faded memories salvaged from Japan tsunami

Lost and Found Japan Tsunami Anniversary

Lost & Found Project

A photo from the Lost and Found exhibit, which houses a collection of salvaged photos swept away during the great tsunami that hit Japan one year ago.

Lost and Found Project Japan Tsunami Anniversary

Lost & Found Project

The photos have been worn down by water, oil and mud damage. The pictures that are damaged beyond repair have been given to the "Lost & Found" exhibit.

Lost and Found Japan Tsunami Anniversary

Lost & Found Project

These photos were found in Japan by a project called "Salvage Memory." Researchers cleaned and numbered photos, then tried to return them to previous owners.

Lost and Found Japan Tsunami Anniversary

Lost & Found Project

Lost and Found Japan Tsunami Anniversary

Lost & Found Project


Much was swept away by the tsunami that whipped through Japan on March 11 of last year, and one of the precious things found lying amongst the massive amount of wreckage that's still waiting to be cleaned up is people's photographs. Los Angeles photo exhibit "Lost & Found" houses a collection of the photographs that were discovered after the Tohoku disaster.

Only some of the debris has come to rest; the photographs that have been found have not completed their journey either. The West Hollywood photo exhibit originated from "The Project Salvage Memory," a group of researchers who felt the need to clean recovered photographs and return them to their previous owners.

"Lost & Found" is made up of the photographs so damaged that they're considered impossible to return. The photos are smudged with primary colors after suffering varying degrees of damage by oil, mud and bacteria.

The exhibit's first showing was in Tokyo in January, and coordinators are planning shows for New York, San Francisco and Australia. The event is one of many other weekend happenings around Los Angeles commemorating the first anniversary of the Tohoku disaster.

Lost & Found Project
What: A fundraising exhibit featuring a collection of salvaged photos swept away by the tsunami.
Where: Hiroshi Watanabe Studio @ 8810 Melrose Avenue, 2F, West Hollywood
When: Mar. 8-25, 2012; 12:00 - 7:00 p.m.; the exhibit will be closed on Mar. 11 due to road closures
Admission: Free

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