Disaster Art Series

Ansei-no-Taigoku is the great earthquake that made 14,000 victims in Edo, 1855. Japanese people then believed that the catfish was the deity who caused earthquakes. Right after the Edo earthquake, Ukiyo-e artists made several thousand humorous woodblock prints of the catfish (Namazu-e) in order to wish renewal for the world. It was much due to the enjoyment from this new art that people were able to look beyond this awful disaster. I was really impressed by this history because when they lost everything, their houses, families, and friends, Edo people were able to get the necessary energy to begin living again from this art. Additionally, this history showed me that art could give people much power to recover from terrible disasters. With this inspiration, I started a series of pieces, “Disaster Art”. Later, “Disaster Art” was expanded to include the ideas from British Sociologist, Anthony Giddens(1938+). As he mentioned about the risky society, “Disaster Art” is about man made risks. As a personally and a part of society, I am interested about how to deal with this risky modern world.