Post 3.11 is a series of talks with individuals who through art have in various ways been involved in supporting the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. Showcasing their activities, this talk series aims to examine how the role of the artist and art activities can be vital in such unprecedented situations, in spreading awareness and helping restore confidence among those affected, fundamentally questioning whether art has to have a practical social function.
For the first session in 2012, The Japan Foundation invited Ichiro Endo, a painter, performer and self-proclaimed ‘future artist’ famous for his artworks and activities, conveying a strong sense ‘future’ through his eccentric artworks and activities which have been exhibited at venues including Art Tower Mito, BACC Bangkok and the Beppu Contemporary Art Festival.
Turning his attention to organising projects in the disaster-stricken Tohoku region, Endo’s activities include travelling around in his graffiti-covered bus called Mirai-e-go! (“Go for future”) as a means of spreading Endo’s characteristic message to people.
Through Endo’s presentation, he will briefly introduce his work and activities before and after the incident in Tohoku, demonstrating how he was prompted to act in such a way in response to the disaster. Evaluating his involvement in Tohoku, Endo he was joined for a further discussion by Kaori Homma, UK based Japanese artist and Keith Whittle, curator and Japan Foundation Fellow, to explore the artist’s role including whether these activities have helped build new relationships between the artist and society. Kaori Homma, through her Art Action programme, commissioned a residency in the UK for an artist from Tohoku. Keith Whittle is undertaking research into projects working with individuals and communities in Japan, many of which are working with devastated areas and beyond, organising art events directly with, or for those affected.