Tuesday 17 November 2015
6:00pm – 7:00pm

Cool Japan? A Curatorial Practice after Fukushima

Drinks reception: 7:00pm – 8:00pm

13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle (entrance facing Regent's Park), London NW1 4QP

Organised by The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

The Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 had a devastating impact on the Japanese art scene. In the wake of the disaster, some politically concerned Japanese artists attempted to intervene in political discourse regarding nuclear power generation.

Art Tower Mito, where Mizuki Takahashi is a senior curator, felt the repercussions of The Great East Japan Earthquake directly. Located in Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture, the cultural complex and contemporary art centre suffered considerable damage in the earthquake, forcing Takahashi to cancel the group exhibition celebrating contemporary female art she had curated in the middle of its term.

In this talk, Takahashi reflected on her experience and curatorial journey after March 2011, in particular focusing on a controversial exhibition called “Tadasu Takemine’s Cool Japan”, which addressed popular constructs of Japanese cultural identity in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

You can watch a recording of the event here:

About the contributors

Mizuki Takahashi

Mizuki Takahashi is a senior curator at Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito, and is currently based in London as a research fellow in Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Takahashi has realized interdisciplinary exhibitions addressing various contemporary cultures from manga, architecture, performance, film, music and visual art. Her curated exhibitions in and outside of Japan include “Eight Days: Beuys in Japan” (Art Tower Mito, 2009, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2011), “Quiet Attentions: Departure from Women” (Art Tower Mito, 2011), and “Darren Almond: Second Thoughts” (Art Tower Mito, 2013).

Art Tower Mito

Art Tower Mito is an important cultural complex located in Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Established in 1990, the contemporary art department is known to produce influential contemporary art exhibitions including “Ground Zero Japan” (Noi Sawawagi, 1999) and “The Door into Summer: The Age of Micropop” (Midori Matsui, 2006).

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