. Earth Science News .

Japanese art shifts in response to tsunami disaster
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Feb 24, 2012

In the year since Japan's northeast coast was torn apart by a massive quake-tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis, artists have searched for new ways to come to terms with the disaster.

The so-called "Post-3/11" movement has taken its inspiration from images of tsunami-ravaged townships and grief-stricken victims in the aftermath of the the worst tragedy to hit the nation since World War II.

From activist performance art to the creation of a memorial, artists have found new ways to either make a statement against nuclear power or simply remember the thousands who perished.

"Practically every exhibition and art event held after the... earthquake has implicitly or explicitly responded to these life changing events," says Emily Wakeling, a curator and art researcher working in Tokyo.

"The majority of artists' responses have been emotional," she says.

For 27-year-old installation artist Tsubasa Kato, a trip to Fukushima for volunteer work to clear up the mountains of rubble provided him with the inspiration to leave a lasting memorial.

Kato recently completed a three-storey lighthouse built from the collected ruins of houses destroyed by the tsunami, with the help of 300 local residents whose lives were wrenched apart by the disaster.

While his usual approach with large works is to drop them into place, ensuring a noisy landing, he decided his Fukushima work should be lifted quietly, as a mark of respect.

He was initially reluctant to become involved creatively, but his experiences working alongside the locals soon changed that, he said.

"In Fukushima, they were pulling buildings down, clearing the ruins. Yet there I was, with the opportunity to build something new for the community," he told AFP in a Tokyo gallery.

He says the optimism of the thousand or so who gathered to watch the lighthouse pulled upright was palpable.

"Japanese people have a shared culture of rallying together after natural disasters, and the project was a way audiences and victims could communicate on an emotional level," he said.

Manga artist Moeko Fujii, 25, says the disaster means she and her colleagues have had to change the way they go about their work.

"As artists we've had to rethink how we would present such a terrible story, and whether it was necessary to do so," she says.

"Manga is so familiar and can be read by people of all ages, it's a good way to understand others' earthquake experiences," she said.

However, while many of the artistic responses have been emotional, six-member art collective ChimPom have taken a more confrontational approach, using public anger at the country's reliance on nuclear energy.

The group has produced a video called "Real Times" in which they travel into the middle of the exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi and hoist a white flag above the ruins of the plant.

They paint it with the red sun of Japan's national flag, before transforming it into the warning symbol for radioactive material.

In a separate project, they added a panel to a mural by Taro Okamoto in Tokyo's fashionable Shibuya district that depicts the fallout from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs.

Aping the the style of Okamoto's original, the ChimPom addition shows the smoking Daiichi nuclear plant.

Although the panel -- for which they did not have permission -- was swiftly removed, group leader Ryuta Ushiro insists it contributed to "renewing the history" of Japan and nuclear energy.

Ushiro rejects some Post 3/11 artists' view that there is a distinction between emotional and political responses to the disaster.

"When you try to create something, sharing one experience together, the action inevitably takes on a political aspect," he said.

"The issue is not really whether it is political or not, but whether it was made with the intention of communicating with other people."

A Japanese language news report on Kato's lighthouse project can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdyGJKo1qUg

ChinPom videos can be viewed at:


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Japan clears up only 5% of tsunami rubble
Tokyo (AFP) Feb 21, 2012
Japan has cleared up just five percent of the rubble left by last year's earthquake and tsunami, the government said Tuesday, amid fears it has been contaminated following the Fukushima nuclear accident. The twin disasters, which devastated the northeastern coastal communities last year, left almost 23 million tonnes of rubble in the hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima alo ... read more

India PM blames foreign NGOs for anti-nuclear demos

Swiss Re net profits up sharply to $2.6bn despite disasters

Red Cross appeals for $3 mln for Mozambique cyclone victims

Gas leak at China steel plant kills three

ORNL finding has materials scientists entering new territory

Yale paper finds arsenic supply at highest risk

Faster smartphones spark race for ways out of data crunch

Inspired by Gecko Feet, UMass Amherst Scientists Invent Super-Adhesive Material

From Earth's Water to Cosmic Dawn: New Tools Unveiling Astronomical Mysteries

World Bank proposes global coalition to save oceans

Climate change leads to pollution of indigenous people's water supplies

Marine protected areas: changing climate could require change of plans

Glaciers: A window into human impact on the global carbon cycle

Breaking Through the Ice at Lake Vostok

Chile to build up Antarctic military base

As ice melts in Far North, opportunities abound to advance Canada's oceanic laws

Policies implementing GMOs need to take biodiversity complexities into account

Hermetic bags save African crop

Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries

Microsoft founder urges digital revolution against hunger

Death toll rises to 31 in Madagascar cyclone

Japanese art shifts in response to tsunami disaster

Pakistan, UN launch fresh $440 mln flood appeal

Visualizations help communities plan for sea-level rise

Missile strike kills Islamist fighters in Somalia

In Somalia, securing peace harder than seizing territory

Somali PM would 'welcome' air strikes against Shebab

Kenyan troops make slow progress in Somalia

Digital technologies reversing extinction of languages

Neanderthal demise due to many influences, including cultural changes

Why the brain is more reluctant to function as we age

Cutting-edge MRI techniques for studying communication within the brain

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement