Bob Tobin, an art blogger for The Diplomat and expat/Gallery owner in Tokyo, wrote a poignant meditation on art’s place in our lives when our lives fall apart. The tragedy in Japan is almost unspeakable: over 7,000 people have died and even more are still missing. Along with the devastating loss of life, countless Japanese citizens have lost their homes and livelihoods. It stands to reason, of course, that Japanese art and culture will also suffer. That art, though, can stand for hope amidst the damage. Writes Tobin:
When I look at the art in the gallery and in our home, I’m now even more aware of the power of art and its ability to soothe, comfort and heal us. Art has the potential to bring us to another world and help us forget what may be troubling us. Our troubles and worries don’t go away, but we can temporarily escape from them and restore our energy.
In times of great distress, I think our relationship with art boils down to to a more primitive level – a phase that we too often forget in favor of academic and critical interaction. This initial love and wonder for art is what can help us understand tragedy, buoy our happiness, and reinforce our relationships.
We must also not forget during this time that Japan has rich and beautiful culture. The Tobin Ohashi Gallery, for example, highlights young artists. By supporting Japan and helping in whatever ways possible, my hope is that these artists can continue to thrive in and contribute to such a culture.
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