If you go to the exhibition, what you’ll learn is that Watanoha is located in Ishinomaki City, which sustained heavy damage from the tsunami last year. And what you’ll also learn is that all the materials used to create the artwork are disaster debris – the only materials available to them. To see the playful sculptures is both heart wrenching and encouraging at the same time. We so often underestimate the complexity of kids, not giving them the credit they deserve. Many have described Ishinomaki as “flattened” or with “nothing left.” That’s not how these kids saw it.
This is what Cooper and I were thinking about when we curated Earth Movement. It’s fantastic and inspiring to see these photos from the children of Ishinomaki City. The Power of Kids exhibit runs through July 29, 2012 at Atelier Muji.