Emiko Aida / 相田恵美子

The Spring Lunch Box / 春の弁当箱
aquatint / 銅版画
This is one in a series of prints about the four seasons in Japan. Each image shows fun Japanese eating habits during each season.

Takayo Akiyama / 秋山 貴世

Maneki Neko / 招き猫
pen and ink / ペン、インク
The Japanese people believe that Lucky Cat (Maneki Neko) brings us luck. Now is not a time to wait for luck, but instead, action and change is needed. My imaginary Big Lucky cat is in action.

Satoshi Date / 伊達 賢

Faces Under the Threads of Spirits / 魂の糸の下にある表情たち
acrylic, threads and fabric on canvas / キャンバスにアクリル、糸、布を使用
The Tohoku Earthquake wiped off tons of manmade things and took our memories and soul and let us know who we are. Tsunamis and earthquakes are just a tiny event of nature, but nature tells us we are just a small part. Nature as in woods, disaster, human, society, culture – everything. Now it is time to re-think and re-build how we are going to live and how to balance our lives between nature and human.
The Japanese people want to let the people outside of Japan know how quickly we can recover from the devastation. We did not have much robbery or crime after the event as we have many experiences about how to protect our lives, but we also now have the opportunity to understand how important it is to learn communicate with the world outside of Japan. We are at the starting point to rebuild our idea of being.
When I draw something, I can be nothing. Then I connect to our spirit. At that moment I could connect to the object that I draw – smile at them and talk to them. Without using any materials or tools, we could meet in this special universe. We sometimes share the feelings and cry together.
東北地震は私たちの歴史において最悪の災害となった。人工的のものを全て流し去り、思い出や魂を一瞬にして奪い去り私達が何者なのかを考えさせられた。津波や地震は地球上何億年もの歴史のなかの小さな出来事だが、私たちがどれだけ小さい存在か教えさせられる。森や自然、災害、人間、社会、文化 – 全てがそうだ。今がまさにどのように自分たちの人生を構築していくか、どういう風に自然と人間のバランスを保つか考え直し、築き上げる時だ。
世界中がこの出来事に震え上がり、そして協力した。日本人が災害大国で被害に慣れているということはあるけれども、日本以外に住む人に私たちがこんなに早く荒廃状態から回復できたということを伝えたい。今回のことで私たち日本人はどれだけ外の世界とコミュニケーションを取るのが大切かということを学んだ。私たちは今、自分たちがどうあるべきかということを考え直すスタート地点にいる。ものを描くとき 僕は無心になれる そのときに魂と繋がる そのときこそぼくは対象物(人)と繋がることができる。 時を越えて、場所も関係せず 彼らと繋がる事ができる 微笑みかけ語り合う。 物体を使わずこの不思議な宇宙のなかでめぐり合うことができる。 ともに分かち合い、涙する事も。

Megumi Fukuda / 福田恵

July 11, 2011, 07:46
/ 2011年7月11日, 7時46分
c-type print, frosted glass / タイプCプリント
The title “July 11, 2011 / 07:46” is the exact date that it was taken by the artist. This picture appears like a peaceful scene near the sea, but was taken in Germany where the artist lives at exactly four months after 11th March – the date the disaster occurred in Japan. It actually happened at 14:46 Japanese local time but it was taken seven hours before 07:46 because of the time lag. It shows two different dimensions of the sea, and the complex constructive dilemma of one who lived far away from one’s homeland at that time and the distance in between.

Taro Furukata / 古堅太郎

Dance on the Edge

Detail, magazine cover found in the home of the artist’s parents (NKK Fukuyama, May 1980, no. 176) / 作家の実家で見つけられた雑誌の表紙(NKKふくやま、1980年5月号、no.176)
This photo is from a cover of old magazine published in 1980 in Fukuyama (Hiroshima), Japan, which I found in my parents’ house and brought to Berlin. It’s about a huge iron factory that was built in the beginning of the 1960s near my home. At that time, Japan had a rapidly growing economy and most Japanese thought only about economic growth. The problem of the nuclear power plant also began during the same time, and the Cold War took on an important role. This photo is interesting for its connection to the Japanese high economic growth period and the growth of nuclear power plant, its connection to my homeland and my childhood, and for the sculpture created by a local Japanese artist who was obviously greatly influenced by European art and artists such as Henri Matisse.

Eijiro Ito / 伊藤英二郎

Playing Cards / 
etching, ink, computer / 銅版画、インク、コンピュータ
In today’s consumerist society, we make light of memory itself. I think we must question what memory is, since it is a matter of our consciousness. The Playing Cards series questions whether words and images are possible to replace each other through the reproductive medium of Manga.

Yoshitaka Iwamoto / 岩本吉隆

Leaf 18 / 
落ち葉 18
watercolour on paper / 水彩絵の具
I have been fascinated by leaves for a long time and have continued to observe and draw them – their colour, shapes and formation – in order to express their delicate and unique features. Since living in London I have been discovering leaves that I had not seen previously in Japan. While some of them were of the same species as those found at home, their colours, sizes and forms were often quite unfamiliar. Preoccupation with such leaves has not only made me realize that I am living in a distant land, but at the same time has reminded me of my own country. A beautiful leaf, such as the one I have drawn, expresses in miniature what nature on a larger scale has to offer; it is a symbol of hope and therefore all the more appropriate to the current situation in my homeland.

Sayaka Kajita Ganz / 梶田さやか

Rising / 
collage / コラージュ
I made this piece from Japanese postage stamps collected over several years. The phoenix motif embodies my hope of recovery and healing for all that was affected by this disaster.

Nanae Kawahara / 河原奈苗

I Can Still See the Scene and Memory in my Mind / 
coloured pencil on Bristol paper / 色鉛筆、ブリストルペーパー
While I went back to Japan from May to July this year, I saw a very beautiful sunset when I was taking my dog for a walk. It was different to what I’ve seen in the UK for two years, and in short, was one of the scenes of my own country. I understand every place has a similar scene, however I can still see the lovely sunset view in my mind. It is impossible to forget it, and is strongly described with my dog in my illustration work.
今年の5月から7月にかけてロンドンから一時帰国した。日本にいる間、私は犬の散歩を任されるのだが ある日の夕方、とても綺麗な夕焼けを見た。それはここ二年間イギリスで見たものとはまた違う、自分が生まれ育った 国の風景というものを感じた。どこの国も同じ夕焼けなはずなのに何故かどこかが違う、そのときの印象が 今でも忘れられず、私の犬と一緒に作品の中で表れるのである。

Seiko Kinoshita / 木下 聖子

Blue Bird / 
installation; 580 hand-dyed and woven paper yarn sculpture; 12.5m high / 手染め、手織りの紙糸によるインスタレーション / 高さ12.5メートル
Photograph by Tracey Holland
This work was inspired by the architectural space of Sheffield Central Library & Graves Art Gallery building and a classic Japanese children’s animation The Blue Bird which is in turn based on L’Oiseau Bleu written by Maurice MaeterlinckTwo children travel to look for a blue bird, a symbol of happiness everywhere, but at the end of the story they realize that ‘Happiness’ is not really something to look for, perhaps instead a little happiness can be found in ordinary everyday life.
この作品はシェフィールド中央図書館とGraves Art Galleryのある美しい建物の階段のスペースと有名なモーリス メーテルリンク「青い鳥」の物語よりインスピレーションを受けて作ったものです。幸福の象徴である青い鳥を探してさまざまな場所へ旅に出るが、物語の最後には、「幸福とは捜して回るようなものでなく、些細もない日常生活の中に潜んでいるものではないか?」という作者の問いかけはいつまでも心に残るものです。

Takeshi Miyamoto / 宮本武

Sakura Tree
/ 桜
photograph / 写真
Cherry blossoms hold many emotional connections within the minds of the Japanese people. Its meaning is often associated with the ephemerality of life, however, for this picture, I wish to communicate its representation of “rebirth”.

Kazuko Morishita / 森下和子

Sounds of Words from my Country
/ ふるさとの言葉の響き
pen and mixed media / ペン、デジタル
So many people lost their lives in Japan this year. These people had carried on our culture and tradition for our future. Language (Kotoba) is also our important heritage. Even our language is changing little by little and even we started importing many foreign languages. The Japanese language always sounds beautiful and we should not lose it.

Yuki Nishimura / 西村夕貴

The Sea of Prayers
/ 海神様のいのり
ink and watercolour / インク・水彩
The flowers in my artwork are called Hamanasu; they are one of the symbol plants by the coast in Japan. The rocky statue on the boat represents the Japanese god of the sea, called Watatsumi. I wish the Tohoku seasides to be guarded by the good spirit and start blooming the beautiful Hamanasu flowers again.

Satoru Niwa / 丹羽理

Under the Moonlight
/ 月下
photograph / 写真
This photo was taken in the devastated area of Kesennuma, Japan. Kesennuma was destroyed by the tsunami and the earthquake on 11 March 2011. On that day, the beautiful full moon mournfully lit up the heap of rumble and the dead buried there.

Koko Noguchi / 野口香子

A Prayer / 
installation; 1000 red sheets of paper, 1000 green sheets of paper, 1000 breaths / 1000 枚の赤い紙、1000 枚の緑の紙、1000 の呼吸
300 x 300 x 25cm
With the gracious participation of Le College des Bernardins www.collegedesbernardins.fr
協力:Le Collège des Bernardins, Paris
Photograph by André Morain
Just as I was setting up my installation at the Arsenale in Venice in March 2011, I received the terrible news about the earthquake in Japan. My installation “L’origine du monde” is made of 150 pairs of used children’s shoes with children’s voices shouting and calling their mothers with anxiety. Each child calls his mother in his own language: Japanese, French, American … and the children’s voices resounded inside the Arsenale, again and again.
I realized the installation “A prayer” at Le Collège des Bernardins in July, a historical building of the 13th century in Paris. The installation was set up inside of the nave, and I could then organize a minute of silence with a lot of people and children in front of my installation. In Japan, we write “strawberry” with the ideogram 苺. The graphical structure of the ideogram means “mother with a grass crown”. This sign conveys the vitality of multiplication and the energy of development.

Kyoko Okunaga-Perez / 奥永恭子

(Break) / 一服
bamboo pen and ink / 竹ペン、カラーインク
Ever since I was little, my favorite moment was Ippuku, and there was always nice cup of tea and well-used tools around me.

Saeko / 彩絵子

Same Sky, Same Wind / 
rotring, collage, computer / ロットリング、コラージュ、コンピュータ
Always nothing has changed – the same sky, and same wind, yet it is always changing, and will never be the same. From here to there, it’s the same – it’s just that we cannot see it, but we believe and trust in tomorrow.

SHOKO / ショウコ

Toward the Light
/ 光のほうへ
watercolour and pencil / 水彩、鉛筆
I left my feeling there in Japan
You found it on the road
Everyone thought it was gone, but we both felt it was a start
‘Cause we saw it sending out rays of light
The moon was veiled by the clouds
The grass was waving in the wind
We just need to run toward the light
More strongly
More closely
Just toward the light
わたしが 日本に残してきた気持ちを
あなたが 道で見つけていた
皆は 終わったと言うけれど
わたしたちは それを始まりだと感じていた
わたしたちはただ 光のほうへ走れば良いだけ
ただ 光のほうへ

Nishiki Tayui / 田結西紀

Seasons IIII / 
季節達 IIII
oil on wood panel / 油、木
Japanese people are graceful and resilient. I hope that Japan walks towards a bright future surely and steadily.

Nozomi Tomoeda / 友枝 望

Diamond Ring / 
installation at solo exhibition “Entschuldigen Sie, dass ich Sie während der Arbeit store” 2011 / 2011年個展” お仕事中失礼いたします” での 展示風景
Photograph by Kaoru Hirano
 / 撮影:平野 薫
Diamond Ring was created with a small globe that was put on the bookshelf; solar eclipses were formed with a desk light in wall.