The Towada Art Center is pleased to present a new special exhibition titled Big Sky Friendship to begin April 2014.
The exhibition brings together artworks addressing the way that loose forms of communication can develop between strangers as a result of unlikely catalysts.
In March we marked three years since the Great East Japan Earthquake – “3.11.”
In the aftermath of that disaster we felt how refreshing it was to see people join hands and help each other, above and beyond the frameworks and rules provided by local governments or society. The emergence of loose communities of people in that context was a source of encouragement. In those unprecedented circumstances it required courage for people to rely not on social systems or ideas of reciprocity, and instead reach out to strangers of their own accord. And yet the world that opens up when such courage is demonstrated, although it might be fleeting can be seen as being full of love. Sociologists such as Itoko Kitahara and Rebecca Solnit have called such impromptu communities a type of utopia. Nevertheless, as reconstruction projects proceed and things return to normal, it at least appears that they gradually disappear.
In this exhibition we explore through artworks and other post-disaster activities exactly what those spaces, full of creativity and love, were. In the teaching of “form is emptiness,” which appears in the Buddhist Heart Sutra, the “emptiness” is the whole world and the “form” refers to everything in it. This is an attempt to address once again the strength of the people who attempt to overcome difficult days, amidst a world that is forever changing.