The first three artists of our 2015 season come from Japan, and have been selected by curator
Rachel Carvosso. Rachel shares some thoughts on her process below.


From the Curator:

I have been very intrigued and inspired by the Illuminated manuscript concept of Spark and Echo Arts and having been based in Japan for 10 years I wanted to invite Japanese creative producers into the process. With little general cultural saturation of biblical background and imagery I decided to connect to a more general relevant theme of finding hope within the brokenness. Japan was hugely effected by the events of 3/11 and Fukushima and Tohoku in particular continue to be places where recovery in ongoing. How do artists respond in the aftermath and what does the bible have to say about disaster, fear, suffering and hope?

All three artists have considered both their identity as “Japanese” artists post 3/11 and questioned how the bible could relate to God`s bridging of the gap created by brokenness and sin, what should be questioned and how hope can be found even in the middle of the most painful and confusing circumstances.

For myself all these pieces remind me of the Japanese tradition of Kintsukuroi (Kintsugi). In  Kintsukuroi broken pottery, rather than being discarded is delicately restored — the cracks filled in with gold. What is broken becomes more beautiful as a result, and I find that Japanese artists responding to the bible through the prism of the disaster have a lot of beautiful and important insights to share.



The second work is from photographer Shino Yanai in response to Psalm 19:12-14:

But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and this meditation be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 
















Shino Yanai, Paradise (from Orford/ Sizewell/Dungness), 2015
(click to zoom)


From the Artist:

In this section of Psalm 19 (v12-14) the Lord called to forgive all human beings. As I look at the terrible history in many places I continue to have questions I began questioning “Do we really deserve this forgiveness? ”

Even after seeing Hiroshima burned down by a nuclear bomb with an incredible temperature of 2000 degrees, the United Kingdom still conducted nuclear testing in Orford and became the third country to own nuclear weapons.

In spite of being the only country with the experience of nuclear bombing, Japan became the third largest nuclear power plant holder with 54 power plants. On March 11th 2011 many people in Fukushima were evacuated and forced to leave the homes that they love due to radioactive contamination resulting from the unprecedented nuclear power plant accident that surpassed even the Chernobyl disaster. Despite this Japan are co-operating with Sellafield are planning to pursue plutonium thermal power generation .  (プルサーマル).

In Genesis, human beings are expelled from paradise due to their imperfections.

I imagined the appearance of paradise after they have been banished in the photographs of  Orford, in Sizewell, Dungeness (which are locations in the U.K. that have nuclear power stations).



広島が核爆弾の2000度の熱線によって焼き尽くされた後、イギリスはオーフォードで実験を行い第三の核保有国となった。そして日本もまた唯一の被爆国であるにもかかわらず、54基の原子力発電所をつくり世界第三位の原子力発電所保有国となり、いま再びセラフィールドに協力してプルサーマル計画を行おうとしている。 2011年3月11日に起こったチェルノブイリを凌ぐ原子力発電所事故の未曾有の放射能汚染によって愛する故郷を追放された多くの人々がいるというのに。









Shino Yanai is a contemporary artist born in Nara, Japan. She completed a B.A. as an instrumental Music Major at Kobe College and a B.A. in Painting at Tama Art University, receiving her Masters from Tokyo University of the Arts. Exhibiting widely in various spaces in Japan in addition to Internationally in New York, Beijing and London. In 2014 she was awarded the Pola Art Foundation grant and guest lectured in Okinawa on the theme of “Art and Nation” in Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. Her current base is in London, U.K.



This work was curated by Rachel Carvosso.

See the first work in this series here.

This image is copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.

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