Overcoming the disaster
March 11, 2011: The day which changed the lives of the Japanese
It has been about two years since the Great Tohoku earthquake disaster, and I have spent days thinking continuously about life and death ever since.
I was born in Fukushima prefecture and grew up in Kanagawa prefecture, so Fukushima was like a hometown to me. Directly after the disaster when I visited the disaster area, looking at close ones enduring the affliction, and seeing the trees standing here and there on the horizon, which I should not have been able to see, my heart shivered. Time flowed as though whispering “Hope and dreams, even the will to live is taken away.”
However, taking a glimpse at life and death, I renewed my feeling that I must face life in a more serious manner.
I have entitled the theme of this exhibit as “Hopes”; to express in it, my will to struggle in chase of my dreams, despite the difficulties of gaining dreams and hope, something that I realized from the disaster. Especially the piece called “Hopes” which has the same motif as the theme of the exhibit, is an expression of this feeling as a relationship between man and woman.
I hope my works will give you a clue to think about living with hope in hand.
Yu Kuramitsu participated in the Artist in Residency Program held by Art Centre Pushkinskaya 10 in Saint Petersburg, Russia from November 25, 2012 to April 20, 2013. During this program, she had her solo exhibition from April 6 to 18 supported by the Japanese general consulate. This exhibition was part of the Japanese cultural event "Japanese Spring" held twice a year in Saint Petersburg. The purpose of this event was to introduce Japanese culture to Russian people.
Yu Kuramitsu wanted viewers to know the current, real Japan. She made the exhibition theme to be about the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster to help them understand what she as a Japanese felt about this catastrophe.
This Exhibition was held in...
2013 in Art Centre Pushkinskaya 10, Russia
2015 in Art Labo Hashimoto, Japan
2015 in The Museum for Non-Conformist Art, Russia
2012-2013 oil/canvas width: 192 CM length: 134 CM The man and the woman are in the different places. Yu Kuramitsu placed the two paintings separately to express the hardship to grasp the dream to be together someday and to keep hope at hand. At the same time, she drew the pictures with the hope to strive and chase the dream and hope.
Japanese fold Origami paper to make a crane praying for someday. Yu Kuramitsu wished the prayed cranes reached to the Japanese victims and the viewer.
The Agony spiral
2012-2013, oil/canvas width: 70 CM length: 80 CM Deep agony is a chain reaction that will not stop. It is almost impossible to take away. The only way to overcome it is to be strong yourself.
2013, oil/canvas width: 70 CM length: 80 CM You cannot completely purify the sorrow and agony that flows into yourself on and on. Time used to keep on flowing like that, but now I seem to have been able to change. By facing myself through a long period of time.
Filling a dream step by step
2013, oil/canvas width: 50 CM length: 30 CM
2014-2015 oil/canvas width: 91 CM length: 116.7 CM People hope the peaceful time never disappears. This is not only the hope they have, but the dead desired this hope strongly. Hence, Yu Kuramitsu painted this picture with her wish to let this hope desired by both of them spread into the earth.
Living away from the noise
2012-2013, oil/canvas width: 40 CM length: 80 CM At the time of the earthquake disaster, I was struck down both mentally and physically, looking back I felt the overcoming of that was, and only could have been done alone, so I expressed this through a woman with a strong will.
Offering Flowers to the Japanese Sea
2013, oil/canvas width: 30 CM length: 40 CM For the people who lost their lives in this earthquake disaster. For the people who carry deep sorrow in their hearts from this earthquake disaster.