Jave Yoshimoto, a 2012 graduate of the Department of Art's graduate program in painting, recently exhibited his 30-foot "Scroll for Japan," Baptism of Concrete Estuary, at the Art Students League of New York to benefit the Music & Art Without Borders program of the Japanese non-profit organization Recovery Assistance Center of Miyagi (Ganbaro Miyagi). The Art Students League’s Vytlacil Residency International Scholarship Program also benefited.
Painted in the Japanese style of ukiyo-e woodblock prints, the scroll depicts the incredible devastation wrought by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the human tragedy and heroism of the time. Yoshimoto did much of the work on the scroll during several months of residency at the Art Students League’s Vytlacil Campus Artist-in-Residence program in Sparkill, N.Y. He displayed the scroll at Syracuse University as part of the MFA 2012 show at SUArt Galleries.
"To combat societal amnesia, I wanted to create a lasting memorial that would long honor the victims and survivors of the disaster," says Yoshimoto on the scroll's web site. "I wanted to reconnect with a society and a culture that I have been separated from, living here in America for so long. I wanted to honor the triumph of the human spirit over catastrophic tragedy; to showcase the bravery of heroes like the Fukushima 50 who risked terrifying radiation levels to assist others in nuclear danger zones. And perhaps most importantly, I wanted everyone who saw my memorial to feel empathy for the people of Japan, empathy that would turn into desire to help these people rebuild their lives."
The scroll will tour around the U.S. and Japan. To learn more about the project and see upcoming events, visit www.scrollforjapan.com.