SEPTEMBER 2018 • 21
ARTS EXPOSURE • LEAH ROMERO
Sim Chi Yin stretches to capture a photo of the remnants of a windmill at the McDonald Ranch House at White Sands Missile Range. (U.S. Army Photo/Leah Romero)
Site oors to istory
Photographer documents WSMR history for Nobel Peace Center project
he desert was still as she waited for the clouds to uncover the perfect lighting, illuminating a bunker – weather-beaten and forgotten. The photographer was Sim Chi Yin, documenting Trinity Site and its surrounding area for a project for the Nobel Peace Center. A Singaporean photographer based out of Beijing, Chi Yin nity Site to the public for the sechas had her work-displayed ct. 6. in festivals and museums mic bomb was tested, at 5:29:45 a.m. around the world. She was commissioned to photograph nuclear related are required. At the site visitors can sites for the Nobel e a small obelisk marks the exact spot Peace Prize Exhibition of 2017 for the Interos are mounted on the fence surroundnational Campaign to Abolish Nuclear miles from Ground Zero to the Schmidt/ Weapons laureate. Her purpose was embled the plutonium core of the bomb. to take provocative family in the early 1940s. photographs for their cause. She began work on the project from Tularosa. Vehicles meet at Tularosa “Fallout” in October leaves promptly at 8 a.m. 2017 and spent two ssile Range via the Stallion Range Cenmonths photographing sites. turnoff is 12 miles east of San Antonio “The project here was ty for hotel reservations is Socorro. very open-ended,” Chi p.m. Visitors arriving at the gate beYin said. “I think I was just trying to make landscape unescorted the 17 miles to Trinity pictures that speak to the legacy and reality of nuclear weapons in the world and to get people to kind of reflect on what of insurance and registration they are, what they’ve done in the icture ID. For more informapast and where we are and where we ity/Pages/Home.aspx. stand as individuals, as countries, as societies.”
She said the project was urgent because she only had two months to complete the work. Trinity Site was included in her list of places to document as an extension of the work, along with sites in Nevada and the Dakotas. The project is on display for a full year and will close this November. “We managed to cover six dates last November and we didn’t make it to New Mexico,” Chi Yin said. “I’m really kind of intrigued by the fact that this place was chosen to be kind of the birth place of the A-bomb. I was trained as a historian, so the history of it really intrigues me.” Chi Yin and her assistant Gabriel Ellison-Scowcroft spent July 9 at Trinity Site visiting bunkers located 10,000 and 800 meters from Ground Zero, Jumbo, the McDonald Ranch House and Ground Zero itself. Jumbo was a 214-ton casing designed to Sim Chi Yin during a break while on assignment for the Nobel Peace Center at White go around the plutonium bomb, Sands Missile Range. (U.S. Army Photo/Leah and the McDonald Ranch House Romero) was where the plutonium core was assembled. They also spent time the day prior photographing missiles Chi Yin said she would be open to and rockets on display at Missile Park, extend the project even further and located on the main post. possibly go abroad to photograph nuclear sites, including more contemporary Chi Yin explained that the project is being shown in various other exhibitions areas. A range of Chi Yin’s work can be around the world as well. She flew to viewed online at her website, chiyinsim. Italy the following day to open an exhicom. bition about nuclear weapons that will be on display throughout summer. An Leah Romero is part of the White Sands exhibit will be on display in Singapore Missile Range Public Affairs team. as well.