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Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 650 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

In our second photo essay from Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, we feature more highlights from the exhibition Listen to the Sound of the Earth Turning: Our Wellbeing since the Pandemic. See Part I here, and my earlier coverage of the Aichi Art Triennale, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, and Bangkok Biennale.
“Since 2020, an invisible virus has stolen away our everyday, and wrought havoc on our way of life and state of mind. Under these circumstances much artistic expression, including contemporary art, resonates more keenly than ever,” explains Kataoka Mami, Director, Mori Art Museum, along with her curatorial team.

The exhibition showcased around 140 works by 16 artists from Japan and overseas. There are other exhibitions at the museum as well, with artworks that span paintings, installations, sculptures, videos, and photography.

The museum team includes Kumakura Haruko (Assistant Curator) and Tokuyama Hirokazu (Associate Curator). The title of the exhibition is inspired by a quote by Yoko Ono.
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Japanese artists featured are Aono Fumiaki, Horio Akiko, Horio Sadaharu, Iiyama Yuki, Kanasaki Masashi, Kanazawa Sumi, Koizumi Meiro, and Naito Masatoshi.

The overseas artists are from the US, Thailand, France, Germany, Taiwan, and the Netherlands. The lineup includes Ellen Altfest, Montien Boonma, Robert Coutelas, Wolfgang Laib, Zoe Leonard, Tsai Charwei, and Guido van der Werve.

The curators ask the audience a number of provocative questions as they engage with the artworks. How should we now coexist with the pandemic? How did our minds come to view society and what pictures did we paint in our minds?
Other questions pertain to art and existence. Can living itself be art? What connects the self with the universe, and this moment today with eternity?

The exhibition titled Imagining Justice – Asian American Art Movements showcases civil rights movements spearheaded by Asian immigrants from China, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and other Asian countries. It includes cultural practices around justice and empowerment by artists, musicians, performers, and activists.

Other exhibitions at the museum are Welcome to the Fairyland, by Yanagi Miwa, Odani Motohiko, Yoo Seungho, and Nawa Kohei.
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Some of the highlights were artworks by Montien Boonma (box stack installation), Tsai Charwei (mirror mandala installation), and Horio Sadaharu (wall installation).
“Perhaps when considering how best to live in these pandemic times, we might begin by borrowing the imagination in these works to reflect on the character of our vast and complex world, and reexamine what constitutes its essence,” the curators suggest.
There were also community engagement events at the museum and external venues, art camps for youth, and workshops by artists.

“Works on subjects with a connection to life and existence—nature and humans, the individual and society, family, the repetitious nature of daily living, the spiritual world, life and death—will encourage us to consider what it means to live well,” the curators sum up.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?
(All exhibition photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the museum.)

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.
Edited by Kanishk Singh
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