Japan: Art Community to the Rescue

The tragedy of the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan has shaken the art world. Many museums and art galleries are too damaged to enter due to the broken glass, smashed ceilings, and flooding. As evacuations and humanitarian relief continue, no plans have been made to repair or salvage many of the buildings or works of art. Many places are closing temporally, and luckily, in the Tokyo National Museum’s case, none of their collections were damaged.

With great catastrophe however comes a renewed sense of purpose and hope and several artist communities around the world are taking action to show their support. Takashi Murakami, the chairman of GEISAI (a Japanese art festival), is encouraging artists to upload their work onto Twitter, with a theme of “providing encouragement to the victims and those who have despaired in the quake’s aftermath.” For those interested in viewing the works, they can be accessed at ameblo.jp/geisai-net.

There is a non-profit called Artists Help Japan, where communities of artists are holding special events through which to help raise money for the affected victims. As well as an online community, the Sweet Streets Blog of Manga Art, that is hosting an online fundraiser by selling art created by Japanese artists who have been affected by the earthquake. With such an informed international art community putting their efforts into fundraising, it shows how destruction can cause creation, and with that creation aid in recovery efforts. *

*Information retrieved from an article by Yuhei Wada

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