© Samuel Bollendorff
© Samuel Bollendorff
© Samuel Bollendorff

Samuel Bollendorff


Tears of Mermaid

Supported by agnès b.
Co-hosted with Kyoto City Water Supply and Sewage Bureau

Lake Biwa Canal Museum, Keage Incline

Born in 1974, photojournalist. He was a member of the Œil Public agency from 1999 until its closure in 2010. At the Louis Lumière school, he mastered the technical side of photography and developed an eye for observation at the Fine Arts School of Paris with his art history education. He began working as a freelance press photographer and mastered his documentary photography style. Bollendorff offers a social perspective on French institutions such as hospitals, schools, prisons, and the police. He also addresses issues like environmental pollution. Traveling the world in 2018, he created the work “Contaminations.” Through his work in “Contaminations”, he shares industrial pollution which, has left immense areas uninhabitable for life. He takes us on a world tour of the places contaminated by humans in the 21st century, where entire swathes of the planet are lost for generations to come.

“A dead river for six hundred and fifty kilometers, deformed fish, radioactive forests, children born without eyes, nuclear waste trafficking, falsified reports by corrupted states, plastic waste adrift in the middle of an ocean that has become the first link in a degenerate food chain. How did we let this happen?” “An estimated eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year. This is the equivalent of one dump truck per minute. Household waste, synthetic fishing nets, ‘mermaid tears’ – microbeads used in industries – and many, many single-use plastics that will contaminate rivers and oceans for centuries to come. Most of them are ingested by fish, slowing down their growth and reproduction, and disrupting the entire food chain. Whether at sea or on land, it is difficult to find a place without plastic.”

Lake Biwa Canal Museum, Keage Incline

09:00 - 16:30

Admission accepted 30 mins before the venue closes.


Closed: 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2

Lake Biwa Canal Museum, Keage Incline

17, Kusagawa-cho, Nanzenji, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

Subway Tozai Line "Keage" Station. 7 min on foot from Exit 1

Tara Ocean Japan is the Japanese branch of the Tara Ocean Foundation, founded in 2003 by the French fashion designer Agnès Troublé, known as agnès b., and chaired by Étienne Bourgois. The Tara Ocean Foundation is the first public utility foundation dedicated to the Ocean in France.

The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, and the planet’s future depends on it. Thanks to oceanic biomass and plankton, the ocean plays a significant role in regulating the climate as a carbon pump and oxygen producer.

Since 2003, thanks to its scientific schooner Tara, the Tara Ocean Foundation has been sailing the ocean on scientific missions and expeditions, with a number of scientists and artists on board, to study the multiple impacts of global warming, microplastic pollution and other environmental threats on the oceans. The objective is to predict, anticipate and better understand climate risks and protect biodiversity.

The Tara Ocean Foundation uses this high-level scientific expertise, the adventures experienced at sea and works of art produced by the artists to raise awareness and educate the younger generations and the general public about the challenges facing the ocean.

Photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Samuel Bollendorff is one of the artists on board Tara during the microplastic mission 2019. He has produced a series of photographic works, “The tears of mermaids”, on the microplastic waste polluting the ocean’s surface.

Other Exhibitions

Other Exhibitions

Momo Okabe



  • 10/10 Celebrating Contemporary Japanese Women Photographers

Ikko Narahara

Japanesque <Zen>

Ryosokuin Temple (Kennin-ji Temple)