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The Atomic Tree

by Adam Loften & Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee

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A drawing of a tree
A drawing of a tree

What memories are held within the rings of a tree?

Japanese ideograms

The Atomic Tree is a journey into the memories of one of the most revered trees in the world—a 400-year-old Japanese white pine bonsai that witnessed and survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima. From Japan’s ancient cedar forests and Buddhist temples to the family home in Hiroshima where the pine was nurtured for five generations, this VR experience explores the unbroken chain of living stories held within the rings of this tree. The delicate shape of this bonsai contains sacred forests, human family, and deep time, inviting us to reflect on the living strands of kinship that are woven between human and nonhuman worlds.