Saturday, March 17, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
First, I want to thank everyone who has donated or helped Japan, or were concerned about Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami that had happened on March 11th, 2011.
I personally would like to look back at how it was being in Tokyo on that day and onwards. I have forgotten how it felt like back then. Or, moreover, I probably have intentionally tried to forget.
As everyone probably had said, it was a normal day. Just another work day that had no special meaning. First when it started to tremble, we didn't take notice. It was another earthquake. But it went on. And on, and on... And it got stronger. We ran under the desk, but soon one person suggested perhaps it was safer to run outside. While the earth was still shaking, we took the emergency stairs, and got out to the street. We stood in the middle of the road since we were scared something might come down from the buildings near us. We huddled together there, seeing other people being out in the streets like us (which oddly makes you feel reassured and feel safe), and watched as a nearby building swayed side to side and seeing smoke coming out from one of the construction site.
Of course this was NOTHING compared to what was happening in the Tohoku region of Japan, but we did not know anything at that point.
From that day, nothing became normal. But I tried to act normal, everyone tried to act as though things were normal. I even know that I convinced myself, that I felt normal. But now when I look back, I know In truth, I didn't feel normal at all.
But in this time of uncertainty and fear, some stories made us smile and brought us hope and feel thankful. The ones that touched my heart the most was all the help and warm support Japan got from other foreign countries.
Although they were many ways people helped and cared (including friends and people I know who sent me e-mails, or asked on facebook if I was okay), some like how New Zealand sent their rescue workers even though they just suffered a quake themselves about a month before, made me feel thankful. And an articles from foreign countries praising Japanese people for not looting or having chaos at this trying hour (there were, in the end, some looting that happened in the really devastated area, but Tokyo with all it's people and possible chaos that could have happened with seismic intensity of 5, was mostly at peace). And the fact that there were all these fundraisers for Japan, and how many and how much celebrities gave to Japan. Such as Lady Gaga, who, although known in Japan from before, gained much respect when she quickly donated money, started a fundraiser selling "Pray for Japan" arm bands, and came to Japan for concerts while other foreign artists canceled due to radiation.
Along with that, there was this one song that healed me. When I was still feeling very wary and the future seemed so unsure in April, I listened to it over and over again, overlaying it's lyrics with how I felt at the time. It was Imogen Heap's song, "Just for Now."
Leave all our hopelessnesses aside (if just for a little while)
Tears stop right here,
I know we've all had a bumpy ride"
It was that time of year: the season of sakura (cherry blossom), and it's beauty made me -for awhile- forget the uncertainties. I wanted to leave the hopelessness aside, something I have been feeling ever since the disaster happened. And I wanted the tears to stop.
So here is a girl, who, one year ago was praying with the expression of pain in her face ( here ), this time smiling with the cherry blossoms. And to tell the truth, the initial sketch was done last year near April, with the same intent of saying "Thank you" but I could not finish it. I recently came back to it by accident and started working on it again. Today being exactly one year after it happened, it seemed like the best time to finish and post this image on this day.
I live in Tokyo, where there was a earthquake with seismic intensity of 5, where there certainly were and are radiation coming from Fukushima. But I know that I don't know what exactly has happened and what people felt, how people feel to this day, in the really devastated area. And one year after the earthquake, there are still many things that need to be dealt with, and nothing is really over yet. So maybe I do not have the right to say this, but still I would like to say to all those that have helped, I thank you, and Japan thanks you.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Went to see two exhibition's that had to do with graphic design world in China now. And it was very inspirational. One of an exhibition in Diesel Art Gallery in Shibuya (on the same floor as the men's section), and an exhibition at G8.
"GLAMOROUS FUTURIST" by Chen Man showed pictures by China's super star photographer.
"Ju-chu- Bakuchiku", a group exhibition by 10 different Chinese graphic designers showed the lastest design from China.
Seeing both of these exhibition has made me realize how much Chinese design and art is so cool. The thing that was in common with both, is that they mix the tradition with the new, and mixes the Western idea with the Eastern idea. I felt very inspired by them both. I think Chinese art/design will be something to look out for.