Gallery Show: Dear Japan NY @ Art Connect New York Gallery

170 artists send 170 messages of hope and support to Japan. We are still finding it hard to fathom the repercussions of the earthquake, tsunami, and Nuclear crisis here in Japan. While the earth has greatly calmed down, we still feel the occasional and alarming rumble. Despite the disaster having disappeared from the headlines around the world, it will be a long, long time until any sense of normalcy returns to northern Japan. Personally, I still feel phantom shaking nearly 3 months after the event.

I met Fumiha Tanaka in grad school, both of us having recently relocated to Georgia from Japan. While I'm back in Japan, she has settled in New York. In the wake of the disaster, she and a few of her friends took action and put together an amazing project called Dear Japan NY, a benefit art exhibition with all proceeds going to the Japan Society “Japan Earthquake Relief Fund”. Being one of the 170 artists who donated their work was important to me, and I hope that, in even a small way, it will help in the recovery.

Dear Japan NY

Dates: June 4th, 2011 (one day only!!)

Time: Saturday 4-8 PM (From 5pm buyers can start taking the artwork home)

Place: Art Connect New York Gallery Space | Event website | map
Invitation:  Download invitation pdf
Address: 491 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, New York 10012

Thoughts from the Dear Japan Team:

Dear Japan ~170 Artists 170 Messages~ Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Crisis Relief Benefit Art Exhibition

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0M earthquake struck off the coast of North Eastern Japan, followed by the devastating tsunami and nuclear emergency. Beautiful landscapes including many national heritage sites, farmlands, and fishermen’s villages were swept away taking the lives of so many innocent people. It was the most powerful earthquakes in Japan’s history.

The official death toll had been raised to 15.256 while 8.565 people are still missing and these numbers are still increasing. More than 160,000 have been evacuated to shelters and more than 10,000 have left their homes due to the nuclear emergency. The whole nation is now living under the fear of continuous aftershocks and the ramifications of the nuclear crisis.

While witnessing this event and seeing a large part of our homeland destroyed while experiencing the suffering of our friends and families, we couldn’t sit idle watching the news. We wanted to do something. As artists we realized we can send messages by art to those people who are facing the toughest moment in their lives. We want to tell the Japanese people they are in our thoughts and we are one being. May we rebuild a more beautiful and stronger Japan together.

170 both renowned and emerging artists from New York and International countries have agreed to participate in the “dear Japan” project.

The Artists are directed to write a message to Japan on the back of their donated 2D or 3D art works.

The art works will be sold at the one night benefit party held at Art Connects New York (ACNY) in the SOHO gallery on June 4th, 2011. A website will be created after the exhibit which will post the messages from those artists directly to Japanese people.

All the proceeds from this benefit event will go to the Japan society “Japan Earthquake Relief Fund” and from the Japan society the money will be donated to four nonprofit organizations in Japan—the Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relief, JEN, Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC), and the Japan NPO Center—all on the front lines of relief and recovery in Tohoku.

Please support the people of Japan by coming to the "Dear Japan" benefit! Thank you very much!