Light Brushing Project

(I am a photographer)

One photograph taken each morning Feb 2015 – Jun 2019 (ongoing)

Carousel slide projection (2015-19) Charlie Gao




Araki Nobuyoshi, Tokyo Radiation August 6-15th, 2010:

Araki was receiving radiation treatment for cancer and every morning he

“looked at the sky
                                   from where the bombs came”.


“Other people brush their teeth, I brush my eyes,”


he said.




Green, D. and Lowry, J. (2003):

“Photographs... are not just indexical because light happened to be recorded in an instant on a piece of photosensitive film, but because,

first and foremost,
                                   they were taken.

The very act of photography, as a kind of

performative gesture, which points to an event in the world,


as a form of designation...

is thus itself a form of indexicality.”




四国中央 Shikokuchuo (2016-18)



“I want to do it to protect the things I cherish.”

                                                                                        – line from Shodo Girls (film, 2010)






Shikokuchuo (2016-18) Charlie Gao


Shikokuchuo is a coastal city located in Ehime prefecture on the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. It is the leading producer of paper and paper products in the country, a centre of industry set in a traditional rural landscape.

Founded through the amalgamation of smaller towns, it literally means “Shikoku Central City” and was named in a time when it had hoped to become an important centre for the whole Shikoku island. It is presently dealing with the consequences of rural depopulation and relative economic decline.








A 2010 film, Shodo Girls, has as its subject a high school performance calligraphy contest set in Shikokuchuo.

This, as in the film, prompted a focal point for the community revival of the city, as evidenced by the posters and placards still remaining at various filming locations.

Whilst the immediate effects have long since dissipated, the spirit of the film lives on.