Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (NewsSee) • Tohoku-Through the Eyes of Japanese Photographers open at Cholamandal Artists’ Village • Photographs will be exhibited until August 15, 2022 • Organized by Velammal International School & Japan Foundation ‘TOHOKU-Through the Eyes of Japanese Photographers’, jointly organized by Japan Foundation and The Velammal International School (TVIS), part of the Velammal Knowledge Park (VKP), opened recently (July 27, 2022) at Laburnum & Indigo Galleries, Cholamandal Artists’ Village . The exhibition was opened by Mr. Kenji Miyata, Deputy Consul General, Consulate of Japan, Chennai. Dr. Leslie D. Joynes, who is a New York-based artist and scholar of contemporary visual cultures, delivered the keynote address. Ms. Gitanjali Sasikumar, Academic Director, Velammal Knowledge Park presided over the ceremony. Prominent entertainers including MP Gopinath and MC Douglas, among others, graced the occasion. The exhibition will close on August 15, 2022. This historic exhibition of photographs, brought to India as part of the 70th year of Indo-Japanese cultural relations, is comprised of 123 works by nine individual photographers and a group of photographers from Japan. Produced in 2011 and curated by Mr. Kotaro Lizawa, recognized as one of Japan’s leading photography critics, photography historian and magazine editor, “TOHOKU-Through the Eyes of Japanese Photographers”, unveils the history and living in the TOHOKU region of Japan. This region was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, one of the deadliest natural disasters in Japanese history, and this exhibition was organized to commemorate the first anniversary of the disaster. However, it is not a documentation of the devastation and resurrection of the place. It is about the history and landscape of TOHOKU, and the life that has prevailed there since the beginning of the 20th century. The exhibition started a year after the 2011 tsunami, and it has been running for 10 years according to Mr. Koji Sato, Managing Director of the Japan Foundation-Delhi. “We don’t want people looking at this area with images of the disaster. Rather, we want to show the rich culture and tradition of TOHOKU people,” he said. Sri. MVM Sasikumar, Director of Velammal Knowledge Park, said, “VKP is extremely excited to bring this historic spectacle to Chennai, which also faced the devastating tsunami of 2004. This spectacle is part of their ongoing efforts to bring education beyond the mundane, thus allowing students to discover the world. When we heard about the Japan Foundation planning to bring this historic exhibition to India, we were excited to be a part of it, as we wanted our students to experience it personally in a gallery, while being part of the cultural relations between the two nations. In this way, we can help students to change the perception of the world and our own role in its construction too. Eminent Artist Shri. MuraliCheeroth, Creative Director of Chitravathi Center for Creativity (CCC), which is the creative arm of VKP, said, “When an educational institution partners with cultural organizations, it would have a tremendous positive impact on students. This exhibition is unique in many ways. In Japan, this exhibition was organized to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that shook Japan on March 11, 2011, devastating the region of TOHOKU, which has a great tradition. However, here it is not the devastation that comes to life in these photographs that capture the life and tradition of the region, which is known for the Neolithic Jomon culture, the deepest stratum of traditional Japanese culture. The exhibition, organized in cooperation with the Photographic Society of Japan, includes works by Teisuke Chiba (1917-65), Ichiro Kojima (1924-64), Hideo Haga, Masatoshi Naito, Hiroshi Oshima, NaoyaHatakeyama, Meiki Lin, Masaru Tatsuki , Sendai Collection, and Nao Tsuda.
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