CR Completion Certificate Awarding Ceremony

On Mar. 25 (Fri), the Awarding Ceremony for the Certificate of Completion of the Creative Reconstruction Project was held.
Twenty undergraduate students and 5 graduate students were awarded the Certificate of Completion. We wish them all a bright and successful future.

The CR Project that has been going on for 4 years will now come to an end.
We regret that the project will end while the path to recovery from the catastrophic earthquake is still underway. In the 4 years, there were things we were able to accomplish and things we could not, but we hope that the participants will take them to their hearts and continue, each in their own way, the activities that they were involved in.
The project was able to continue to this day with the help and support of many people.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to everyone we met through our activities and gave us support. Thank you very much! (Iida)
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Screening of “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” in Sapporo

On Mar. 22, Tuesday, a screening of “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” was held at the Sapporo City University, COC Campus (Makomaru, Sapporo-shi). It was the last of the screenings organized by CR, but as many as 45 people attended the event, making it a success. After the screening, the student directors and participants exchanged comments. Questions about how the interviews were conducted, how the production was carried out and many others were asked.
Along with the screening, an artwork by the CR Okuma-cho Team was exhibited. It is an artwork of photos and text of a family living in Iwaki-shi that the team followed and took records of after the catastrophic earthquake. The Okuma-cho Team students also stayed throughout the event and, before and after the screening, met and exchanged comments with the many people who came to the screening.
We would like to sincerely thank all the visitors and people at Sapporo City University! (Iida)P1150137 P1150167 P1150192

International Symposium, “The Possibilities for Art in Disasters”

On Mar. 4 (Fri), as we approach the day 5 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, an international symposium organized by the CR Project, “The Possibilities for Art in Disasters”, was held at the International House of Japan (Roppongi, Tokyo). Many people including those who gave much support to the activities of CR came, totaling over 100 visitors.
In the first part, those on the stage introduced their actual artistic practices in the state of a disaster from their respective points of view. In the second part, a discussion was conducted on the possibilities for the role of art in disasters. A heated discussion was carried out covering a wide range of subjects including the topic of what should be the role of art museums and gallery spaces from the perspective of disaster and art, about the on-going exhibition in an area where residence is restricted due to the nuclear power plant accident. Another theme was in reference to the compatibility of the results of CR’s activities carried out in the disaster-stricken areas and the educational effect as a university.
I would like to thank everyone who came.


On Mar. 11, “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” on YouTube for free viewing.

The full version of the documentary movie, “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)”, will be on YouTube for free viewing on Mar. 11, Friday, 5 years after the catastrophic earthquake. At the same time, “iwaki 2016.2.5”, a video in which, this February, the student directors revisited and interviewed the people who had appeared in the original movie will also be shown.
Along with the upload, the website of “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” has been renewed, too. Here, as well as being able to view the movie, comments by the student directors who shot the movie, the story of the movie, explanation of the words mentioned in the movie are shown. The website is available in English as well.
We would like as many people as possible to see the movie. Please pass on the information to anyone who has not yet seen the movie. Thank you in advance!


Hybrid Art Assignments: Light Art Exhibition

Between Feb. 8 (Mon) and Feb. 14 (Sun), the Hybrid Art Assignment Class Team held an LED Light Art Exhibition, “The Ark in the Woods Art Project: Woods, Light, Water”, in Mishima-machi, Kawai district in the Oku-Aizu region of Fukushima prefecture.
The project is a continuation from last year, and the goal is to artistically visualize and show the world the subject of turning natural energy into electricity, an issue that Japan is dealing with, by employing art and leading-edge technology, and to make a beautiful presentation in Mishima-machi, which is a district with abundant forests and mountains.
The electricity for the exhibition is entirely powered by natural energy generated by micro hydro-power and by stove thermoelectric generators developed in collaboration with an NPO.
This year, also on display were works of light art with mechanical support from Color Kinetics Japan Inc. and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
In preparation for the exhibition, we stayed over night in the area, in November and December of 2015, to conduct surveys of the locality. Since the local people showed us their folk art and farming tools, introduced us to the local history and landscape, we became familiar with the culture of Mishima-machi and were able to incorporate some of the elements in our artwork. Light art in snow country was a first time experience for the participating students, and as they worked through trial-and-error and with the generous support of the local residents and public officials of Mishima-machi, a wonderful exhibition was once again created this year.
A beautiful zone unfolded in Mishima-machi with its natural riches and warmth and light art all in harmony.
(Bekki, 4th Year at School of Art & Design)



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Taikan Taiken (Feel & Experience) Lab held “Hanawa-machi Legend of the Lake/Yoshiie and the Giant Dragon of the Lake Workshop”

On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, we held a puppet-show workshop at Hanawa-machi in Fukushima.
The participants consisted of 36 pupils, 1st through 6th graders, living in Hanawa-machi. The pupils who had volunteered for the workshop were called the “Hanawa Taken-tai (Expedition Team)”, and the fiscal year 2015 was their 9th and last time. That is why they all participated with much enthusiasm and energy.

The story of the puppet show was written based on a legend of the lake, which has been handed down in Hanawa-machi from the distant past. The characters involve Hachiman-Taro-Yoshiie, 3 kappas (river monsters in Japanese folklore) and a big white dragon.
”When Yoshiie was traveling through Hanawa-machi, he came across a large lake. When he approached the lake, he saw a swirling shadow! So Yoshiie climbed to the top of Mt. Yumihari, one of the highest in Hanawa-machi, and shot an arrow at the shadow. Then, a small kappa came out and cried, “Stop! Please help us fight the dragon together.” It also called on the children to make puppets of their friends to help save them. The children worked together and made puppets, which became their friends. Then, in the latter half of the play, 2 elder-brother kappas came out and said that the dragon was actually not a bad one. They asked that the arrow shot by Yoshiie be pulled out from the dragon. When the brother kappas chanted a magic spell, a big white dragon emerged and the children pulled out the arrow. At the end, Yoshiie suggested that they should have a festival to express their joy and everyone danced in a circle and partied. All is well that ends well!”

The workshop was an hour and a half long, but since there were comments such as “Time seemed to fly” in the questionnaires, everyone must have been focused and enjoyed the show. In the questionnaires, there were many positive comments, such as “Had lots of fun” and “The staff helped us a lot”. The fact that the children enthusiastically took part and had a great time was very inspiring and gave the members of the Taikan Taiken (Feel & Experience) Lab a sense of accomplishment, and it also had an interactive synergy effect that was uplifting to all of us. The preparations were hard and obviously quite tough for the students of the lab, but when it was over, we all went home to Tsukuba with a pleasant sense of fatigue and a big smile.



Kamado Project took part in the “Joyo Food Business Meeting”

On Feb. 16, Tuesday, we took part in the “Joyo Food Business Meeting” held at the Tsukuba International Congress Center.
Many businesses and shops related to food had display booths. It was a great opportunity to learn about their trade and to also introduce our Kamado Project activities.
We hope that the experience will lead to some kind of collaboration with the people we met.
(Tanji, 4th Year at School of Art & Design)





Revisiting Iwaki-shi, “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)”, for the interview video in progress!

A screening of “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” with German subtitles will be held on March 11 at the Japan Foundation in Cologne, Germany. The students at the University of Bonn, who volunteered to do the German subtitles, will also be there.
In time for the screening, the student directors are currently back in Iwaki-shi, 5 years after the earthquake and 2 and 1/2 years after shooting the movie, to revisit and create an interview video of the people who had appeared in the movie. The video image, when completed, will be shown at the Cologne screening and be posted on the Web as well.
We would like to thank everyone, who agreed to take part in the video, for their warm reception despite our sudden request for the interviews.






Great East Japan Earthquake “The Possibilities for Art in Disasters”

International Symposium on the Five-Year Commemoration of the Great East Japan Earthquake “The Possibilities for Art in Disasters”After the 2011 earthquake, a wide range of art, design and architecture projects appeared to assist in the recovery and reconstruction and many of these projects still continue today. This international symposium will explore the role that the arts and design can play when disasters happen.

Speakers: Kenji Kubota (University of Tsukuba), Takayo Iida (Independent Curator), Kenichi Kondo (Mori Art Museum), Jacob Lillemose (X AND BEYOND), Katsuto Miyahara (University of Tsukuba), Jason Waite (Independent Curator)

Date: Friday, March 4, 2016 6:00-9:00 pm
Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
Organizer: University of Tsukuba
Co-organizer: Mori Art Museum
Admission: Free (reservation NOT required, seating: 150)
Language: Japanese and English (with simultaneous interpretation)

Creative Reconstruction Project, University of Tsukuba





Screening of “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” at the Ibaraki Prefecture Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Symposium & An Exhibit by the Okuma-cho Team.

On Jan. 14, Thursday, a screening of the movie, “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” and an exhibit of an artwork printed on large canvas sheets by the Okuma-cho Team were carried out at the Ibaraki Prefecture Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Symposium held at Ibaraki Sougou Fukushi Kaikan.
The symposium is administered by the Mega Quake Risk Management project, led by the College of Policy and Planning Sciences at the University of Tsukuba, and it is being held in various locations, mainly in Fukushima and Ibaraki, to promote effective approaches towards mitigating risks and disasters associated with large earthquakes. It is already the third time that “Iwaki Note (FUKUSHIMA VOICE)” has been shown at the symposium.
After the screening, a talk show session with the student directors and staff members was held. They spoke about their thoughts and feelings now, 5 years after the earthquake and 2 years since the movie was shot, about their recent visit to the temporary housing, and how they feel about the future of the movie.
In the lobby of the venue, the Okuma team displayed a large printed artwork of photos and words of a family that the team followed and took records of after the catastrophic earthquake.
The contrast between the academic analysis of the symposium and the more personal depictions by the CR teams seemed to inspire an opportunity to re-examine the whole catastrophe from many different angles. (Iida)