Creativity as wellbeing in the pandemic era: artworks and perspectives from the Mori Art Museum
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 650 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
In this two-part photo essay, we feature highlights from Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, including the exhibition Listen to the Sound of the Earth Turning: Our Wellbeing since the Pandemic. The museum tower offers stunning views of the city as well.
“The COVID-19 pandemic since 2020 has wrought drastic change on our society and lives, forcing us to rethink their meaning,” explains Kataoka Mami, Director, Mori Art Museum, along with her curatorial team.
“As the daily lives that we take for granted are taken away from us, various art forms may have touched our hearts with an unprecedented sense of urgency and earnestness,” the curators add. The museum team includes Kumakura Haruko (Assistant Curator) and Tokuyama Hirokazu (Associate Curator).
The exhibition showcased around 140 works by 16 artists from Japan and overseas. The artworks span paintings, installations, sculptures, video, photography, and more.
The curators explain that the title of the exhibition is inspired by a quote from a piece of art by Yoko Ono, inviting us to expand our consciousness to encompass all the majesty of the cosmos.
The artists from Japan include Aono Fumiaki, Horio Akiko, Horio Sadaharu, Iiyama Yuki, Kanasaki Masashi, Kanazawa Sumi, Koizumi Meiro, and Naito Masatoshi.
The overseas artists are Ellen Altfest, Montien Boonma, Robert Coutelas, Wolfgang Laib, Zoe Leonard, Tsai Charwei, and Guido van der Werve.
The museum also featured the aptly-titled exhibition Welcome to the Fairyland, by Yanagi Miwa, Odani Motohiko, Yoo Seungho, and Nawa Kohei.
Other sections showcased Imagining Justice - Asian American Art Movements, and two productions by Chinese moviemaker Cao Fei (Haze and Fog and Nova).
Some of the highlights were artworks by Wolfgang Laib (Milkstone), Koizumi Meiro (Good Machine, Bad Machine), and Kanasaki Masashi (sculptures from magazine paper).
In addition to the panoramic views of the city, the museum store offers creative treats as well. These include environment-friendly pencils, with embedded plants.
In the post-pandemic world, it is imagination that will show future possibilities. “This exhibition considers the question of how we can live in the era since the advent of COVID-19 and what ‘wellbeing’ might mean,” the curators sum up.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?
(All exhibition photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the museum.)