Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
War, beauty, and survival
Vanessa Albury, Jesse Bransford, Jacob Cohen, Mila Geisler, Pamela Jue, Caroline Polachek, Max Razdow, Hiroshi Sunairi
Curated by Jan Van Woensel
During the Cold War, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) planned to broadcast The Sound of Music on radio in the event of a nuclear strike on the United Kingdom. The show would be part of an emergency timetable of programs designed to "reassure" the public in the aftermath of the attack.
An altered, simplified and popular version of the life of Maria Augusta von Trapp (1905 – 1987) is depicted in the 1965 movie musical The Sound of Music. In Salzburg, Austria, before the outbreak of the Second World War, Maria wedded naval commander Georg Ritter von Trapp. Partly due to strong economic pressures from Germany, the family lost their fortune in 1935. To survive, the Trapps sent away most of their servants, moved into the top floor of their house, and rented the empty rooms to students of the Catholic University. The family began turning its love of music into a career. After performing at a festival, they became a popular touring act. Shortly after the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938, and topped by the Nazi pressure on Georg to join the Third Reich’s Kriegsmarine, the family escaped to Italy and then to the United States. *
Hiroshi Sunairi is originally from Hiroshima, Japan. His recent body of works focuses predominantly on the slow process of healing after times of great disaster such as the dropping of the atomic bombs at the end of World War II, and 9/11. Sunairi’s Hibaku Tree Project is an ongoing project celebrating the Gingko tree, the second generation of the tree that survived the atomic bombing. The artist gives seedlings of the tree to people in the United States, inviting them to plant and take care of the growing tree. Hereby, Sunairi’s project introduces feelings of harmony, guilt, and remembrance between two nations. The Hibaku tree in The Sound of Music is a gift to Nancy Barton, chair of the department of art and art professions at NYU.
EXPLORATION ACADEMY, BRONX, NY AND BERKLEY CARROLL HIGH SCHOOL, BROOKLYN, NY - GINKGO, PERSIMMONS, CICAD, CHINABERRY SEEDS PLANTED
Works by students from Explorations Academy and The Berkeley Carroll School
partnership between Japan Society and students at Explorations Academy in the Bronx and The Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn.
In this multi-program, high school students from both schools investigated selected cultural, technical and art historical topics related to the Japan Society Gallery exhibition Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York. This included analysis of representations of “home,” a critical examination of references to specific aspects of Japanese culture evidenced in selected works and an exploration of identity construction in the artists and themselves.
Students began their study of Making a Home at school with a preview and introductory discussion of the themes of the exhibition led by Japan Society educators Suzanne de Vegh and Victoria Moller. This was followed by a visit to the Japan Society Gallery where they received a tour of Making a Home with the exhibition’s curator, Eric C. Shiner and participated in facilitated gallery lessons. Hiroshi Sunairi, an artist included in Making a Home visited Berkeley Carroll and Explorations Academy and facilitated a studio art project
In the studio art project each student chose an iconic symbol to represent a personal ideal or aspiration and guided by Hiroshi Sunairi made a clay vessel in that shape. On Tuesday, January 22nd, the students will return to Japan Society to plant the seeds of hibaku trees (seeds from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945) in their vessels as part of a larger long term peace project.
Ava Loi Anderson
The Berkeley Carroll School
Special thanks to:
Japan Society Gallery
Robert Fish, Director of Education & Lecture Programs, Japan Society
Judith Malo, Japanese Language Teacher, Explorations Academy
Eric C. Shiner, Curator, Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York
Hiroshi Sunairi, Artist; Professor in the Department of Art & Art Professions, NYU
Lorne Swarthout, U.S. History Chair, The Berkeley Carroll School
July 2009 update of Chinese Parasol Tree from 2006 Tree Project!
It looks so healthy!!
by Hiromi Morita
At Massapequa, a town in Long Island. Hiroshi Sunairi, an ad-junct professor at New York University and Hiroshima-born contemporary artist, a 35-years-old visited his student, Michael Miritello’s house to plant second generation of seedling of Hibaku Gingko Tree. 1.4-kilo meter away from hypocenter, this Hibaku Gingko grew its life. Sunairi had a solo show at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in 2005 using Hibaku trees in his work, creating a work of remembrance. He was given these Hibaku Gingko seedlings from Dr. Riki Horiguchi wanting to send a message of peace to the young people of the U.S. By growing about 20 seedlings at home, Sunairi has been giving them to his students. Sunairi stops telling the message contained in the trees that he gives; instead, he wants to share the message of nature and life. Hiroshima-born Sunairi felt that teaching peace in school was forceful. As he has come to the U.S., he felt that peace activism lacked a connection with popular culture. However, the way American people think about peace makes him unsatisfied. No matter how nice they are, once they talk about atomic bombings and war, they often say, “It is inevitable to fight to preserve peace.” This made Sunairi start his project with Hibaku Trees.
Miritello, who planted trees said, “The life of this Hibaku Gingko trees connects people from the other side of sea. I would like to grow while imagining what this tree has gone through,” as Sunairi hoped to come across.