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Exhibition to help Japanese quake victims fulfill dreams

Exhibition to help Japanese quake victims fulfill dreams

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) An exhibition that kicked off Thursday in Taipei tells the stories of victims of Japan's devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami and hopes to raise funds for their dream projects. The exhibition features photos of the disasters and displays on how new housing and community center projects are coming together. But at the exhibition's core are 15 screens showing interviews with 15 disaster victims who talk about their ambitions for rebuilding their lives and their communities. Donation boxes are set up so that visitors can make contributions to help each of the 15 victims realize their dreams, ranging from restoring a local festival and building a gallery for the community, to preserving twisted road signs and contorted landscapes to inform future generations of the disasters. One of those interviewed is Chie Kajiwara, a high school art teacher in Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture. Chie recounts how she started making colorful door plates for people who moved into temporary housing in her community after the earthquake. "When I saw the prefabricated housing, it all looked so gray, so I wanted to present them with something cheerful," she said. Chie said many students who saw what she was doing offered to help, and they soon found themselves organizing door plate exhibitions and painting houses for the residents. Chie's goal is to set up a gallery and a cafe run by high school students as a casual meeting place for elderly people living in the houses. Her project will cost an estimated 200,000 yen (US$2,454). "I want to make it a place where people can gather, drink tea and talk," said Chie, who said the gallery will be named "The World." In another interview, Daisuke Suzuki, successor of the Suzuki Sake Brewery that was washed away by the tsunami, said he had rebuilt his family business to regain his sense of identity. "I want to produce sake to verify who 'I am,'" he said. But he also did it for the residents of Namiemachi in Fukushima Prefecture, where Suzuki's brewery had been a fixture since the Edo period. "Many residents told me they hoped I would continue producing sake and preserve something of the city," Suzuki said. He was motivated to continue after realizing that his sake belonged not just to him, but was something that "really does belong to everyone." Donations to Suzuki will be used to purchase a refrigerating facility for his brewery. The exhibition, organized by Japanese art group command N, is being simultaneously held in Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul to connect people who are fostering local regeneration in the disaster areas with those who wish to support them. It is slated to run until April 8 in Taipei. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-05-09 06:53 GMT+08:00