Tag Archives: 日本人

Yayoi Kusama Exhibition @ Tate Modern

水玉(Polka Dots)を多用した作品で知られる前衛芸術家・草間彌生さんの展覧会「Yayoi Kusama」が、現在テート・モダンで開催されており(〜6月5日)、絵画、ドローイング、彫刻、映像、コラージュ、パフォーマンス、インスタレーションなど、60年以上に渡って制作された作品の数々が展示されている。草間さんは、イギリスでは、故ジョン・レノンの妻・オノ・ヨーコさんに次いで有名な日本人女性アーティスト。この展覧会に際しご本人も渡英、真っ赤なおかっぱ頭にこれまた赤地に白い水玉模様のお召しものという、ド派手且つド迫力なお姿で、様々なメディアに登場した(ガーディアン紙)。

強迫性・反復性・律動性を特徴とする彼女の作品は多様。男根に似せたイソギンチャクのようなオブジェで覆われた「Sex Obsession(性への強迫観念)」シリーズ(写真上から2番目)や、マカロニを貼付けた「Food Obsession(食べ物への強迫観念)」、ショッキングピンクの着物を着てニューヨークの街を歩く草間さんを撮影した作品「Walking Piece」、裸の参加者が互いの体に水玉模様を施す1967年のパフォーマンス「Body Festivals」の様子を、他の作品とともに記録した映像「self-obliteration(自身の抹消:YouTube パート 1 / パート2)」、「The Clouds」「Accumulation sculptures」等大規模インスタレーション、そして目や鼻、水玉、横顔のセルフポートレート等をモチーフにした近年の極彩色の絵(写真下から二番目)と続き、合わせ鏡を使った幻想的な「Infinity Mirror Rooms(無限の鏡部屋:写真最下)」で締めくくられている。

長野県松本市出身の草間さんは幼少時からアートに興味を示し、若くして才能を開花。日本画を学んだが旧弊な日本画壇に失望、雑誌や本で独学でヨーロッパやアメリカのアバンギャルドを学ぶ。「too small, too servile, too feudalistic and too scornful of women(狭小で独創性がなく、前近代的で女性を軽蔑する)」だった当時の日本を離れ、1957年に世界のアートの中心・ニューヨークに渡る。当時西洋人男性が優勢を誇ったNYアート界で、アウトサイダーであるアジア人かつ女性という二重ハンデを負いながら、ドナルド・ジャッドアンディ・ウォーホルジョゼフ・コーネルクレス・オルデンバーグ等有名アーティストと交流を持ち、コンテンポラリー・アーティストとしての地位を確立した。1973年に体調を崩して帰国。幼い頃から幻聴・幻覚に悩まされていた草間さんは、現在82歳と言うご高齢ながらも、自身が「自宅」と呼ぶ入院先の精神病院からスタジオに日参、日々作品を創り続けている。その強迫的ともいえる制作活動は、自身の心理的トラウマからの逃避、言わばセラピーのようなものなのかもしれない。

まだまだアート界のみならず社会全体で女性の地位が低かった時代、しかも西洋人が東洋人を一段下に見ていた時代を力強く生き抜き、世界的アーティストとしての地位を得た後も、今でも情熱的に作品を創り続ける草間さんのパワーは、彼女の作品以上に興味深い。でも展覧会は少し拍子抜け、草間さんの溢れ出るエネルギーを全面的には表現しきれていないように思う。

A Japanese contemporary artist, well-known for her repeating dot patterns, Yayoi Kusama‘s retrospective “Yayoi Kusama” is currently running at Tate Modern until June 5th. The exhibition gathers her artworks over 60 years of her career in variety of media, including painting, drawing, collage, film, sculpture, performance art and installations. Kusama is the second known Japanese female artist in UK, after late John Lennon’s soul mate, Yoko Ono. Kusama came to UK on the opening of the show, and appeared all in red, not just red but bright red – red bob cut and the same red dress with big white dots (the Guardian article).

Kusama’s works are characterized by compulsion, repetition, and rhythmicity in a wide variety of mediums. In the exhibition, you see Accumulation sculptures such as phallus-covered Sex Obsession series (the second photo) and Food Obsession, consisting of objects covered with dry macaroni; Walking Piece, a series of colour slides with Kusama wearing a bright pink kimono walking the streets of New York; Self-Obliteration (YouTube Part 1 / part 2), a film documented her Body Festivals in 1967, in which naked participants were painted with brightly colored polka dots, along with images of her paintings and installations; large multi-part installations such as The Clouds and Accumulation sculptures; recent paintings with repeating motifs of eyes, flowers, hieroglyphic self-portrait in profile, and dots in an intense bright colours (second bottom photo); and mesmerising Infinity Mirror Rooms (bottom photo) that concludes the show.

Born in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, she developed her passion for art from a young age, but at the same time started to suffer neurotic and obsessional symptoms. She studied Nihonga painting but was frustrated by its conventionality,   and started to teach herself about the European and American avant-garde from books and magazines. After her certain success in Japan, she decided to go to New York, center of the art world, in 1957, leaving Japan where is “too small, too servile, too feudalistic and too scornful of women.” Kusama came into contact with renown artists including Donald JuddClaes OldenburgAndy Warhol, and Joseph Cornell. She established herself as a prominent contemporary artist, with an identity of “outsider”, both as an Asian and as a woman in a male-dominated Western art world. In 1973, she returned to Japan in ill health. As an age of 82, she commutes to her studio from a mental institution where she lives and calls ‘home’ , and still work vigorously. Her obsessiveness in making art is largely coming from a desire to escape from psychological trauma, and art seems to be very therapeutic to her. →reference: LOUIS VUITTON×Yayoi Kusama site

Kusama’s life is more intriguing than her works for me. Her vitality and strength that helped her survive the tough period when the status of women and ethnic minority is subordinate, and made herself the most prominent female artist in Japan, is truly exceptional and amazing. However, the exhibition doesn’t succeed to fully express her power and intensity, unfortunately.

Be Aware of Charity Scammers

数日前、ロンドンのフリーペーパー「Metro」に、東北大地震&津波への寄付を誘ったサイバー詐欺を行う不埒な輩がいるという記事が載っていた。Internet Crime Complaint Center(インターネット犯罪苦情センター)によると、フィッシングなどサイバー犯罪を目的とした、170万以上のマルウェア、419の詐欺サイト、そして「Japan tsunami」や「Japan earthquake」を使用した50以上のURLが報告されているという(参照:ubergizmo/MacWorld)。詐欺の報告・被害者支援を行うイギリスの公的機関であるAction Fraudのウェブサイトには、イギリス赤十字社のJapan Tsunami Appealを語る詐欺への警告が掲載されている(参照サイトイギリス赤十字社による警告)。米ABCニュースロイター通信は、詐欺にあわないための注意事項をリストアップしているが、要は、メールで送られてきたリンクや電話での勧誘からではなく、信頼できる機関や慈善団体の正規のウェブサイトや電話番号を通じて、または直接出向いて寄付するのが一番安全だろう。人の不幸は金儲けのチャンスと、人の善意につけ込む罰当たりな人たちがいるものだ。

I read about cyber criminals who are cashing in on the Japanese earthquake on London’s free paper Metro few days ago (article). According to Internet Crime Complaint Center, fraudsters have setup more than 1.7 million malware pages, 419 scam sites and over 50 fake domains with “Japan tsunami” or “Japan earthquake” in their URLs (ubergizmo/MacWorld). UK’s national fraud reporting service Action Fraud warns British Red Cross’s Japan Tsunami Appeal Scam (Read more about the Japan Tsunami Appeal fraud on the British Red Cross website). ABC news and Reuters list up tips to avoid those scams, but the safest way is to ignore e-mails and phone calls from total strangers, and either to call up or to visit the trustable charities and organizations or donate on their official websites. It is awful that there are a bunch of evils taking advantages from innocent people’s miseries and goodwill to those suffered!

ベトナム料理店がたち並ぶ、ロンドン東部のKingsland RoadにあるFlowers Galleriesで3月31日まで開催中の、日本人アーティストJiro Osugaさんの個展「Tokyo」。クスッと笑える脱力系の画風に癒される。ギャラリーはまた、日本への義援金受付も行っています。

Japanese Artist Jiro Osuga‘s exhibition “Tokyo” (– March 31) at the Flowers Galleries, located amongst dozens of Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road, East London – his humorous paintings make all of us smile :-) The gallery also hosts “FLOWERS RUN FOR JAPAN” via JustGiving.

↓ 今日の支援情報(今日は英語のサイトばかりですみません)

↓ Today’s Charity Information

Responses from British Red Cross for the “Small Print”

昨日書いた「但し書き」の続きです。掲示板からの抜粋ですが、何人かの方が送った疑問について、イギリス赤十字からの返答を転載させて頂きました。

I would like to explain that we have to put this ‘Disaster Fund Caveat’ on every emergency appeal we run. As the statement explains it is only in the event that we raise far more money than we can responsibly spend in that area that we would put any extra money to our disaster fund.

This had never happened before as the need always tends to be greater than what we raise. All donations for this appeal are being sent directly to the Japanese Red Cross to use in the affected area.

寄付金が多く集まり過ぎた場合は他の事案に回すかもしれないが、過去に例はなかった。全ての寄付金は日本赤十字社に直接送られ、被災地のために使われるとのこと。

もう一人の方への返事はこういうもの。

Yes, the information you read does stand, but has only (in my experience), had to happen at the end of a very long appeal. And in most cases the disaster that is being provided for had initially received a lump sum from the Red Cross reserve as it was needed in a hurry obviously, while we collected specifically for the appeal. Therefore if there is any surplus it will only be replacing the initial sum of money so that there is a reserve that can be instantly accessed when we respond to the next disaster. The Red Cross works this way because the nature of our Disaster Response work dictates that in each case funds will be needed instantly.

但し書きに書いてあることは本当だが、経験上、長期間に渡るアピールの終わりにのみ起こりうる。そして、もし超過が出たとしても、災害直後に赤十字の貯蓄分から緊急支出された額を補填する目的のみに使われる。との説明。

過去にそういう例があったか無かったかは、二つのレスは矛盾しているけれど、この説明が本当なら、納得できる。British Red Crossも募金サイトやQ&Aでちゃんと明記していれば、私達も疑いもたずにすみ、質問状など送る必要は無かったのに。ちなみに私も質問メールを送っていますが、2日経った今、まだ返事は頂いていません。

A new information to my yesterday’s entry about “small print” of charities. Here are responses from British Red Cross to some people inquired about the issue, excerpted from the internet communication board.

Here is one.

I would like to explain that we have to put this ‘Disaster Fund Caveat’ on every emergency appeal we run. As the statement explains it is only in the event that we raise far more money than we can responsibly spend in that area that we would put any extra money to our disaster fund.

This had never happened before as the need always tends to be greater than what we raise. All donations for this appeal are being sent directly to the Japanese Red Cross to use in the affected area.

Another response to a different person.

Yes, the information you read does stand, but has only (in my experience), had to happen at the end of a very long appeal. And in most cases the disaster that is being provided for had initially received a lump sum from the Red Cross reserve as it was needed in a hurry obviously, while we collected specifically for the appeal. Therefore if there is any surplus it will only be replacing the initial sum of money so that there is a reserve that can be instantly accessed when we respond to the next disaster. The Red Cross works this way because the nature of our Disaster Response work dictates that in each case funds will be needed instantly.

If what they say is true, I have no problem, though two responses conflict with each other whether any case of surplus happened in the past or not. However, the problem is that British Red Cross doesn’t explain the issue on their web page, either in the appeal or Q&A. If they do, we don’t have to be suspicious or waste some time to write to them and their time to write back. I also sent an inquiry to the Red Cross but I haven’t heard from them so far for two days. I guess they are busy at this time – another reason for them to clarify it on their website!

↓ 今日見つけた支援情報

↓ Additional information for help for Today

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悲しいニュースが多い中で、心温まる話。涙を誘います。早く助けが来るといいな。

Heartwarming footage of the dog that refuses to abandon the wounded companion. Hope they will be saved soon…

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Read the “Small Print” on Charity’s Appeal

東北地方での地震発生から5日。まだ原発は危険な状態が続いており、各国政府は、被災地のみならず東京からの自国人の緊急避難を促している。被災地では寒さが続き、燃料不足と被曝への不安から物資が届かず、被災者の方たちの苦難は続く。国内外で不安がどんどん高まり、気分が滅入る。そんな絶望的な状況の中で、イギリスで支援の輪が増えてきたのが、せめてもの慰めだ。

ただ、インターネット掲示板などでも話題になっている事だが、いくつかの慈善団体が、日本への義援金集めと言いながら、目立たぬ但し書きで「もし必要以上にお金が集まった場合は、余剰の寄付金が他の案件に使われることもある」と書いている(イギリス赤十字Save the Childrenなど)。私が何とか力になりたいという衝動で寄付した時は、東北地震と謳っているからには当然集まったお金は日本の被災地のために使われると思い込んでいたので、説明なんて読まなかった。売買や契約などの際は、きちんと規約を読むようにしていたけれど、まさか慈善団体への寄付も、詳細を隅から隅まで読まないといけないとは思わなかった。どの慈善団体もそうなのだろうか?最後尾にせよ、募集サイト上に書いている赤十字は可愛いもので、Save the Childrenなどは、「寄付」をクリックしたあと、右側にある「Donation Q&As」から「What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?」を再度クリックしないと、表示されないという手の込みよう。

慈善団体は、彼らなりに今どこが援助を最も必要としているかを考えて、寄付金の使途を決めるのだろうが、特定の義援金集めを謳っている場合、人々は寄付金をその為に使ってくれると信じて寄付する訳だから、もしその他の事に使う可能性があるのであれば、そのことを人々に明確に告知する義務があるのではないか。これは掲示板からの抜粋だけれど、このことを赤十字に指摘したところ、返ってきた答えが以下の通り。

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money (though British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission), but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes, therefore, charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

その中で赤文字部分が気になる。日本赤十字社などとやり取りをした中でこう言われたのかもしれないが、あれだけの惨状を目当たりにして、「日本は先進国だから自分たちの面倒は自分で見られる、財政援助は求めていない」なんて無神経な事が、どうして言えるんだろう。財政援助はいらないと思うのであれば、寄付金を集める意味などないのでは?イギリス赤十字社のサイトに、目標額と現在の寄付金総額が記されていないのも、疑問が残る。しかも、28%のマージンまで取ると聞いている。まあ、疑心暗鬼になっていても仕方ないから、被災者の方々にできる限りの支援が届く事を信じるしかないか。

↓ 今日見つけた支援情報

It’s been five days since the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. But nuclear fear still remains and many countries encourage their people to evacuate from not only affected area but also from Tokyo as well. It is freezing cold in Tohoku, but substantial amount of aid materials can’t be reached out to the evacuees due to lack of fuels and drivers’ fear of radiation. Fear and anxiety inside and outside of Japan has been heightened, and it makes me feel depressed. However, a little hope in such despair is that the circle of help in Japan is getting bigger in UK.

However, there is a concern being discussed on Japanese internet communication boards – some charities, such as British Red Cross and Save the Children, put “small print” on their Japan earthquake and Tsunami appeal, indicating that there is a possibility that the money raised may not necessary be used for Tohoku region, when the funds raised exceed the “need”. When I donated money to British Red Cross, I rushed to proceed without reading the description as I was so concerned, believing that all my money would be delivered to the victims in Japan. I always read terms and condition carefully when I sign a contract or purchase something, but I’ve never thought that even established charities use the same tactic that commercial companies use. Now I am confused if all charities do the same?! British Red Cross put the sentence on the same page of appeal at least, though it is all the way down the bottom, but Save the Children let us click twice to see it – it is on the second page after you click “give now”, then “What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?” from Donation Q&As on the right – clever way to make it less visible!

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money, apart from the fact that British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission, but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes. Charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

I am quite disturbed with the sentence in red. They might be told by Japanese Red Cross, but it is quite insensitive comment by such an established charity. Considering the intensity of the damage caused by massive earthquake, fierce Tsunami, and possible nuclear contamination, how on earth they can think that there is no need for financial help?! If they believe so, why they even try to raise funds for?? I also don’t like that their website doesn’t show project target and progress, as Ocado Japan Appeal does, so that I have a choice not to donate if the target is achieved and the further donation will be given to others. Well, no point to be overly suspicious, and I just really hope that enough help will be delivered to the victims in Japan…

↓ Additional information for help for Today

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