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Deleting them with the sky In Ishinomaki 

Deleting Them with the Sky



Using the blue sky to erase the "sadness" and "suffering" of people living in the tsunami-affected areas.






Deleting them with the Sky in Ishinomaki is an installation and video work that centers around the expression of individual emotions that were suppressed following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake disaster through inquiries into <deleting> and <the deleted>. The work was created in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi prefecture; which suffered devastation due to the tsunami and earthquake. The final work was exhibited in a home that had been damaged by the waves.

The video shows people walking in front of objects they wish to delete with mirrors reflecting the sky in their hands. Using panorama photography, the objects they wish to eliminate are blended with the blue sky. Simultaneously, the audience hear the story of why they wish to delete these things. In a place where the earthquake destroyed numerous things, this work try to reverse the relationship between individuals and event, through the active attempt to eliminate things.  In the process, the hidden personal losses during restoration were re-explored and revealed.

In the affected areas where around 20,000 lives were lost, there is a situation in which even individuals directly affected by the earthquake are very cautious of exposing personal emotions about the disaster. Citizens in the affected areas are expected to unite as a “community”, and are extremely sensitive about whether or not expressing their personal thoughts will hurt someone else. In this piece, rather than directly addressing the earthquake, instead they ask citizens the question: “What would you like to eliminate?”.  Through this process, it makes individual’s personal complex emotions visible in a roundabout way, and they physically understand through a creation of a “landscape where what they want to erase does not exist any more”.

A woman who happened to be outside the affected areas on the day of the earthquake―and who feels excluded from the rest of the community due to this lack of a shared experience―said that she wants to delete herself. A man who decided that he will no longer lie to himself after the earthquake and began crossdressing, wants to get rid of the wrinkles on his face. Individual memories of the earthquake and emotions surrounding the incident are shared, and the loss that they long for is transformed into a beautiful blue sky.





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