Art festival planned to boost reconstruction efforts in Fukushima Pref.(芸術祭で復興後押し)

Yosuke Suga, second from left, and others involved in the Fukushima Hamadori Kokusai Geijutsusai festival visit a farm in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, in August.(8月、「ふくしま浜通り国際芸術祭」のため、いわき市の農場を視察に訪れた須賀洋介さん (左から2番目) ら)

 A project to hold an international art festival is underway in Fukushima Prefecture to help boost reconstruction efforts of areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear disaster at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s No. 1 nuclear plant in March 2011.


 The organizing committee of the Fukushima Hamadori Kokusai Geijutsusai (Fukushima Hamadori international art festival) consists of artists and event staff from inside and outside Fukushima Prefecture. It aims to inaugurate the triennial festival in the autumn of 2024.


 For the inaugural festival, the committee is planning to exhibit sculptures for 1½ months in the towns of Tomioka and Futaba as well as other areas that suffered damage from the disasters. It will call on artists from home and abroad to produce works that inspire people to feel hope for the future. The committee is also considering the use of unmanned train stations to display installations.


 The organizing committee is looking at Setouchi Triennale as a model for the festival, which features contemporary artworks from home and abroad at multiple venues on islands in the Seto Inland Sea. This event also apparently brings attention to various social issues, such as forced segregation of former leprosy patients under a government policy based on erroneous information.


 "We'd like to revive Fukushima with the power of arts," said Shizuka Horikawa, the head of the Fukushima festival organizing committee. "We'd like to see local people making good efforts as 'dots,' and art as 'lines,' and connect them together."


 Preview events in October
 The organizing committee will hold two preliminary events for the festival in October.
 In Tomioka, an open-air restaurant will open for a limited time, and will be run by internationally acclaimed French-cuisine chef Yosuke Suga, who runs restaurant Sugalabo in Minato Ward, Tokyo. Both Tomioka and Futaba towns will also host photo exhibitions by Tokyo-based world-famous photographer Leslie Kee, featuring his photos of people and landscapes in areas affected by the earthquakes, tsunami and the nuclear accident. The events are set to bring further enthusiasm for the festival.


 In late August, Suga traveled to a farm in Iwaki in the prefecture to look for food ingredients he will use at the open-air restaurant.
 "I'll have a good look at Fukushima [Prefecture] and see what I can do," he said.

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2022年8月23日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】