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Tokyo: Mirosław Bałka

October 6, 2018 - January 20, 2019

Mori Art Museum


What art can do in chaotic times where the future is uncertain

Artists: Miroslaw Balka, Shiva Ahmadi, Ai Weiwei, Ban Shigeru, Miriam Cahn, CATPC in collaboration with Renzo Martens, Sheba Chhachhi, Chim ↑ Pom, Thomas Demand, Christoph Draeger, Fujii Hikaru, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Hatakeyama Naoya, Mona Hatoum, Hirakawa Kota, Thomas Hirschhorn, Horio Sadaharu, Khaled Hourani, Huang Hai-Hsin, HYOGO AID ’95 by ART, Ikeda Manabu, Isaac Julien, Hiwa K, Kato Tsubasa, Oliver Laric, Eva and Franco Mattes, Miyajima Tatsuo, Miyamoto Ryuji, Yoko Ono, Georges Rousse, Katerina Seda, Wolfgang Staehle, Helmut Stallaerts
Swoon, Takahashi Masako (ARTS for HOPE), Takeda Shimpei, Tanaka Koki, Gillian Wearing, Yoneda Tomoko, Muhammad ‘Ucup’ Yusuf


Recent decades have seen a stream of catastrophes around the world – from 9.11 in 2001 to the global financial crisis of 2008, the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and the list goes on – and many artists have produced works dealing with these tragic events, in an endeavor to inform the wider world of them, and ensure their stories are passed down to future generations. Unlike media coverage, with its emphasis on objectivity, such documenting from a personal perspective presents to us another kind of truth, difficult to discern in the shadow of numerically overwhelming public opinion. Such works may also be designed to expose contradictions and cover-ups in wider society, or express personal loss and grief.

Catastrophe and crisis can drive us to despair, yet it is also true that the energy released as we try to recover can simultaneously spark imagination, and boost creative output. The large cohort of artists from Japan and elsewhere is working for a better society since the 2011 earthquake; attempting to offer new visions, depicting ideals and hopes encompassing wishes for reconstruction and rebirth.

“Catastrophe and the Power of Art” will look at how art deals with the major catastrophes that strike communities, as well as personal tragedies, and the role art can play in our recovery; contemplating – amid today’s mounting crises of war, terrorism, burgeoning refugee numbers, and destruction of the environment – the dynamic “power of art” to turn negative into positive.


October 6, 2018
January 20, 2019
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Mori Art Museum
Minato-ku, Roppongi, 6 Chome−10−1
Tokyo, 106-6108
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