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2014 Digiark Curatorial Exhibition Program - Tomorrow comes today
Artist(s): GROUP SHOW
Date: 8 Mar - 25 May 2014

“What has occurred cannot be altered, but we can change the future.”
– Nuclear Power Expert, Koide Hiroaki

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant explosion, the Japanese government covered up the facts and exploited the public’s trust in authorities and experts. Mass media fell under the control of business conglomerates with economic interests, and failed to perform its prescribed role. A media which was supposed to provide accurate and factual information was ultimately unable to resist the provocations of market mechanisms. They failed in their task keep watch and arbitrate, and became propagandalists for moneyed interests. Speechless at the moment of crisis, the earthquakes shook up even more questions. Once our faculties of reason returned, there was a compulsion to immediately digest reality: “What needs to be done in the aftermath” “What should be done?” By not participating in this line of questioning, and by choosing to trust those in power instead, citizens themselves became responsible for public affairs; they lazily follow rules, and passively confronted social movements. They were impotent in the face of social manipulation by business interests, and failed to exercise their rights as citizens.

In his book, The Lyrical in Epic Time: Chinese Intellectuals through the 1949 Crisis, literary scholar David Der-Wei Wang wrote: “there is an insurmountable chasm between holocaust and writing of holocaust, between the eternal silence of the victims and the endless recollections of the survivors.” But to abandon the task altogether and to act as though nothing has occurred does not help heal any wounds. Beyond reacting with sympathy, we ask ourselves how this divide between the two might be bridged. Admitting to defeat is no easy task, but harder still is finding appropriate ways to perceive, to respond, and to contemplate. Can we reevaluate failure and apply it in order to observe and study this event, and to conceptualize a path to success by moving in an opposite direction? Can we dissociate the word “failure” from its negative connotations so it becomes a simple, naturally occurring condition?

The Tomorrow Comes Today exhibition does not set out to mourn past mistakes, nor does it hold out hopes for the future. Rather it initiates a moment of honest dialog with what is “now” through the work of these artists. They remind us of environments that exist removed from ordinary lives, and demonstrate how, even when it is impossible to experience something firsthand, courage can be easily conjured as a momentary excuse that changes one’s attitude and challenges the ideologies that have been forced upon us by history and political regimes.

Artists: Kosuke Ikeda, Hikaru Fujii, Chim↑Pom Curated by Yen Yi Lee

*image (left)
Kosuke Ikeda
Cyclequake, 2013
MIxed media installation, Dimensions variable technical
cooperation: Shun Owada, Kosuke Nagata photo: Yoshihiro Kikuyama
© Image courtesy of the artist, Kosuke Ikeda

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