My desire to create art comes from my search for the meaning of our existence. I use my artwork as a key to understand others and myself. The most precious thing in my life is the growth process. Art is my guide and mentor....

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Memory of War

This August, as always, there were anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki's atomic bombings, the Bon festival which enshrines and honors ancestor's spirits, and the anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Japan.

Miyako Taguchi, a Japanese second generation Nagasaki bomb survivor, talked about her inherited bomb survivors' stories in front of the Japanese Consulate in New York City on August 5th. There have been 71 years of peace for Japan since the end of the Second World War. The war survivors, having had intimate experience of the horrors of war, have been keeping the peace. However, their memories of that war are fading as they age.

"Manchuria"  silkscreen  collagraph  2015 

This is a photo of my aunt and uncle who returned to Japan from Manchuria. My aunt, who was a nurse, and my uncle who was a soldier, went to Manchuria. Both of them died without telling me any details of their war experience in Manchuria. While staring at their old photo, I tried to see myself in perspective, and in relation to my aunt and uncle, who lived in a foreign country, like I've been doing.

With the defeat of Japan, Manchuria became part of China. However, Japanese orphans have stayed and left their footprint in Manchuria. The short lived nation of Manchuria disappeared at the end of the Second World War. The illusory nation of Manchuria is an example of how temporary and tenuous national borders, land masses, names, and governments are. What is a country?

My aunt talked about how lucky she was that her family safely returned to Japan. I think about people like my aunt, who were at the mercy of national policies. This work was created by hearing from the memory of the dead in order to notice the preciousness of peace and life, which has been protected by many sacrifices.

I've been exhibiting my prints and essays at the Yaita City Public Library in Japan. These works were made using my family's old photos. It is a preview show for this October’s exhibitions in my home town.

“What is home? Where is home?”
Yaita City Public Library
Wednesday August 17th through Sunday September 18th
Yaita 59 - 2 Yaita City Tochigi Prefecture
TEL 0287435661
10 AM - 5 PM
closed on Mondays.

Open call ”My home"
Works by the general public that express their views about their homes will be exhibited. I will bind a book of the general public's works to show at the exhibitions this October in Yaita City and Shioya town. It is a collaboration project with the general public.