I have heard that my father’s church, just west of Tokyo where there is a Christian retreat/summer camp, has accommodated 70 evacuees including the elderly, children and families from the Fukushima area. The families have settled in well and the children have started new schools in this area, with the help of the collaboration between the church and local government.
We were stunned by the turnout of people at the silent auction, especially on such an unusually cold and rainy evening, in Budapest. As well as the amount raised through the auction, we were touched by the encouraging words from many people. Some artist thanked us for creating this opportunity to help Japan, while others even asked us to do more events like this in order for them to give more! The most poignant words of the evening were given by a Hungarian businessman who said that “Japan has always given so much to world crises including the Hungarian chemical spillage disaster last year, so this is our turn to help.” He then went on to become the highest bidder of the entire auction and also sponsored the reception.
Nannette Vinson and David Wilkinson, the organisers of the auction, who worked around the clock to set up the event at such short notice, also have shown amazing generosity by giving up their rightful commision, as well as time, to give towards this fund raiser.
From the Japan Embassy, secretary general Mr Yasuda visited and expressed the gratitude of the Japanese to the organisers for their effort. Moreover, the director of the Japan Foundation, Ms Iwanaga, not only paid a visit but also showed a very personal kindness by bringing along Japanese rice-ball snacks (onigiri) which were appreciated very much.
photo by Reuters
A friend of mine from college has recently written to me from Fukushima. He and his family have just come back from the evacuation centre and seen their devastated village.
He said he had expected the local authority to have started clearing the rubble, after 3 weeks. However, he describes what he encountered was “like an end scene from ‘The Planet of the Apes’”. He continued to say “it is so detached from reality. A place where I once knew as land has now become a lake, smelling of sea water. As far as eyes can see, all manmade objects are broken into a thousand pieces. The only thing one can hear is a sound of distant helicopters.”
The area has not yet been searched for bodies. Mr Koizumi writes “I cannot find any words, as I know that there must have been many people who survived the tsunami. The rescue just didn’t come to them.”
He is grateful that he and his family survived together. However the Koizumi family still have a very uncertain future with the possible contamination of water and food by the radiation. His main concern is for his children’s health. How he can protect his children from this invisible threat is the biggest question, Mr. Koizumi says “there is no answer.”
In response to the adversities in Japan, there are many planned charitable art events to support for the recovery in Japan throughout April in Europe.
Fold Gallery in London will host a silent art auction on the 8th of April. Established figures including Edward Allington and Sarah Pickering, and emerging artists in London will contribute their artworks to the auction. All proceeds will go to the British Red Cross for Japan Tsunami Appeal:Japan Relief
On 14th of April, a group of Japanese and British creatives based in London will present a charity auction, Ai (❤) Heart Japan, at Devonshire Square in London. Designers and artists who are active in their fields, such as Yohji Yamamoto and Jamie Reid, will contribute their works to the blind auction. All procceds from the entrance ticket sales, auction and raffles will go directly to the Civic Force, NPO in Japan.
On 28th of April, UK-based Japanese Artist, Nana Shiomi will donate her artworks as the raffle tickets prizes to fundraise at the P.V. for Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Annual Exhibition at Bankside Gallery in London. All the donation will go to the smaller NPO in Japan through the Japan Society.
Please find details of each event on the enclosure links.
4月８日にはロンドンのFold Galleryにてサイレント・オークションが開催されます。Edward AllingtonやSarah Pickeringと言ったロンドン在住のアーティストが作品を提供し、オークションで得られる収益は直接イギリス赤十字を通じて日本へ送られます。
また、4月14日にはロンドンのDevonshire Squareにて、アート＆ファッションのチャリティ・オークション、‘Ai (❤) Heart Japan’ が開かれます。Yohji YamamotoやJamie Reidに代表される、世界で活躍するデザイナーやアーティストの作品がブラインド・オークションによって販売され、その収益はイベントのチケット代とラッフル・チケット代と共に、気仙沼で活動するCivic Forceに送られます。
4月２８日に開かれるRoyal Society of Painter-Pirntmakersの定例展示会のオープニング・レセプションでは、在英アーティストの塩見奈々さんの木版画がラッフルの商品として寄付されます。こちらのチケット販売で得られる収益金は、全て支援金として日本の小規模なNPOに送られます。