Advanced

Post-Disaster Recovery Through Art: A case study of Reborn-Art Festival in Ishinomaki, Japan

Tagore-Erwin, Eimi LU (2018) KOVM12 20181
Division of Art History and Visual Studies
Abstract
This thesis closely examines Reborn-Art Festival, a new arts and culture festival inaugurated during the summer of 2017 in one of the regions hardest hit by the triple disaster that devastated the northeastern coastline of Japan in 2011. In the face of an unspeakable tragedy like the Great East Japan Earthquake art may not seem like a central concern, but this thesis focuses on that subject specifically, investigating the ways in which art has become part of the healing process in the small community of Ishinomaki by way of the large-scale festival. The proliferation of ‘contemporary art festivals for revitalization’ in rural areas of Japan have become an increasingly researched phenomenon due to their engagement with machizukuri, or... (More)
This thesis closely examines Reborn-Art Festival, a new arts and culture festival inaugurated during the summer of 2017 in one of the regions hardest hit by the triple disaster that devastated the northeastern coastline of Japan in 2011. In the face of an unspeakable tragedy like the Great East Japan Earthquake art may not seem like a central concern, but this thesis focuses on that subject specifically, investigating the ways in which art has become part of the healing process in the small community of Ishinomaki by way of the large-scale festival. The proliferation of ‘contemporary art festivals for revitalization’ in rural areas of Japan have become an increasingly researched phenomenon due to their engagement with machizukuri, or community-building. This analysis of Reborn-Art Festival furthers understanding of art’s potential to regenerate communities by providing opportunity for social interaction and avenues to combat depopulation. In addition, the festival’s post-disaster context provides necessary insights into art practice as the socio-cultural work of processing the human experience of disaster and aiding in empathic understanding of trauma. The festival’s organizational dimensions as well as individual artworks within it are considered primarily via interviews with five participating artists, the festival’s executive director and volunteer director, and through interaction with various community members and festival attendees during fieldwork conducted in Japan. Community-oriented art initiatives have been criticized in Japanese and Euro-American art circles for their heteronomy and instrumentalism, making it difficult to contextualize initiatives like Reborn-Art Festival within the realm of socially engaged art. However, through investigation of the social engagement and collaborative qualities of the artworks exhibited within it, it becomes clear that a comprehensive definition of ‘socially engaged art’ cannot be fixed as the success of such artworks are heavily dependent on their context. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Tagore-Erwin, Eimi LU
supervisor
organization
course
KOVM12 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Great East Japan Earthquake, art festival, machizukuri, trauma, socially engaged art, revitalization
language
English
id
8945760
date added to LUP
2018-06-11 15:50:46
date last changed
2018-06-11 15:50:46
@misc{8945760,
  abstract     = {This thesis closely examines Reborn-Art Festival, a new arts and culture festival inaugurated during the summer of 2017 in one of the regions hardest hit by the triple disaster that devastated the northeastern coastline of Japan in 2011. In the face of an unspeakable tragedy like the Great East Japan Earthquake art may not seem like a central concern, but this thesis focuses on that subject specifically, investigating the ways in which art has become part of the healing process in the small community of Ishinomaki by way of the large-scale festival. The proliferation of ‘contemporary art festivals for revitalization’ in rural areas of Japan have become an increasingly researched phenomenon due to their engagement with machizukuri, or community-building. This analysis of Reborn-Art Festival furthers understanding of art’s potential to regenerate communities by providing opportunity for social interaction and avenues to combat depopulation. In addition, the festival’s post-disaster context provides necessary insights into art practice as the socio-cultural work of processing the human experience of disaster and aiding in empathic understanding of trauma. The festival’s organizational dimensions as well as individual artworks within it are considered primarily via interviews with five participating artists, the festival’s executive director and volunteer director, and through interaction with various community members and festival attendees during fieldwork conducted in Japan. Community-oriented art initiatives have been criticized in Japanese and Euro-American art circles for their heteronomy and instrumentalism, making it difficult to contextualize initiatives like Reborn-Art Festival within the realm of socially engaged art. However, through investigation of the social engagement and collaborative qualities of the artworks exhibited within it, it becomes clear that a comprehensive definition of ‘socially engaged art’ cannot be fixed as the success of such artworks are heavily dependent on their context.},
  author       = {Tagore-Erwin, Eimi},
  keyword      = {Great East Japan Earthquake,art festival,machizukuri,trauma,socially engaged art,revitalization},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Post-Disaster Recovery Through Art: A case study of Reborn-Art Festival in Ishinomaki, Japan},
  year         = {2018},
}