Come Close: Japanese Artists within their Communities

After the disasters that struck the east coast of Japan on March 11th, 2011, inherited social groups opened up to form larger communities defined by the event’s impact and to support its victims. In the face of disaster and the threat of further danger, community and teamwork were highly valued. As a result, many Japanese artists related strongly to the revived sense of community. Instead of responding to the disaster alone, from a studio, artists chose to reach out to those around them and in particular to those in tsunami- and nuclear-affected areas of the country. New collective-based methods of production resulted in dynamic pivots in artists’ practices, and this in turn has made 3/11 one of the most important affirmations, if not inspiration, for community-based contemporary art practices in Japan today. Taking its selection from a small number of young artists based in Japan, this exhibition celebrated the collective over the individual.

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