Broadsided . Words on the Streets

RESPONSES

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, 2011

At Broadsided, we believe that art and literature belong in our daily lives. We believe they are not just decoration, but essential communication. They inspire and they demonstrate the vitality and depth of our connection with the world.

Moved by the plight of post-tsunami Japan, Broadsided artist Yuko Adachi sent us the image "Love Heals Japan" (see right) and asked if we would help her find writing to accompany it. We were inspired by her idea, and decided to ask other Broadsided artists if they had been similarly moved and, if so, if they'd be willing to share their work.

We posted that art, and asked writers to respond. Below are the collaborations that resulted, as well as a short note from the writers and artists about this process. We hope that you will download, print, and share these with your community.

Yuko created a high-quality print of her collaboration and sell it on her Etsy site. All proceeds were given to the relief effort in Japan.

Click each image below for the pdf; scroll down for more information about each collaboration.




"How Love Heals"

Yuko Adachi & Deborah Fried-Rubin

Download the pdf (352kb)

Artist Yuko Adachi is a Tokyo-born artist who was raised in Japan, Paris, London, and the United States of America. She has been painting since she was a little girl and has been showing her works through solo and selected group shows internationally. Her painting was featured for the cover of Artscope, New England's Cultural Magazine (May/June 2007) and Takara Magazine, the Japanese Culture and Information Magazine in New England (2007 issues). In 2007, her work was awarded best in painting for "Healing Power of Art" by Manhattan Art International. Today, she lives and works in Boston. In 2010, she opened an artist studio store, "Planet MOMEKO," in Rpckport, MA. www.yukoadachi.com.

Writer Deborah Fried-Rubin is a second year graduate student in the Queens College MFA program, pursuing an interest in poetry after many years of practicing law. A recipient of Queen's College's Silverstein-Peiser Award for Poetry, her work has appeared in Why I Am Not A Painter, an anthology of MFA poetry from the NYC area, published by Argos Books. She lives on Long Island with her husband and three children.

QUESTIONING OUR RESPONSES

Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Deborah Fried-Rubin: Yuko Adachi's beautiful work automatically conveyed to me an image of one world, both fractured and unified. The lines reaching to circles illustrated trajectories of trauma engaging people across the globe, making the pain of one the pain of many. But the lines can also be seen as shooting from a place of brightness to reach circles of suffering. This back-and-forth reading reinforced the connectivity for me. The work also reminded me instantly of the kabbalistic concept of "shattered vessels" which humanity heals by acts of kindness, as well as teachings by the Ben Ish Chai, regarding the world as an orb spinning in space, constantly returning light to dark places. Yuko's saturated colors, both innocent and textured, felt like a hope for deeper understanding.

Why did this visual response come to mind when thinking about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Yuko Adachi: I wanted to create an image that is positive, gentle and healing for Japanese people and to those who purchse this print. The reddish bubbles are love energy that is being sent to Japan and the circle represents the Japanese flag as well as the earth energy and the ray of light shining upon it, to indicate that the sun will rise again! The suffering that Japan is experiencing aches my heart to the point of numbness but I want to thank you for your support and love that you are sending to Japan. We feel it!

What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a "successful" occasional or political piece of writing or art?
Deborah Fried-Rubin: I hope art helps us make sense of the emotional content of "world" events, and shows us how to relate in our private capacities to make a cumulative impact. Because everything is ultimately reducible to millions upon millions of individuals, the best "political" poem is a personal one, with heart in it.
Yuko Adachi: An agile creative response with a purpose to the event that opens up our mind and willingness to make an effort to spread what we created and talk about it.



"The Horse of Higashi-Matsushima"

Yuko Adachi & Hugh Martin

Download the pdf (312kb)

Artist Yuko Adachi is a Tokyo-born artist who was raised in Japan, Paris, London, and the United States of America. She has been painting since she was a little girl and has been showing her works through solo and selected group shows internationally. Her painting was featured for the cover of Artscope, New England's Cultural Magazine (May/June 2007) and Takara Magazine, the Japanese Culture and Information Magazine in New England (2007 issues). In 2007, her work was awarded best in painting for "Healing Power of Art" by Manhattan Art International. Today, she lives and works in Boston. In 2010, she opened an artist studio store, "Planet MOMEKO," in Rpckport, MA. www.yukoadachi.com.

Writer Hugh Martin is a veteran of the Iraq war and a graduate of Muskingum University. He now attends the MFA program at Arizona State University and his chapbook, So, How Was the War? (Kent State UP, 2010) was a winner of the 2009 Wick Chapbook Competition. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Willow Springs, Nashville Review, Mid-American Review, Third Coast, River Styx, American Poetry Review, and War, Literature & the Arts.

QUESTIONING OUR RESPONSES

Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Hugh Martin: The piece of artwork is a small, yet beautiful and important reminder that we need to keep Japan in our thoughts. I'd already drafted a poem about the picture of the horse, but the piece of art, focusing more on the disaster to the country as a whole, was a powerful juxtaposition to the specific, more concrete death of the horse, which ultimately leads us to the human deaths and the temporary graves.

Why did this visual response come to mind when thinking about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Yuko Adachi: I wanted to create an image that is positive, gentle and healing for Japanese people and to those who purchse this print. The reddish bubbles are love energy that is being sent to Japan and the circle represents the Japanese flag as well as the earth energy and the ray of light shining upon it, to indicate that the sun will rise again! The suffering that Japan is experiencing aches my heart to the point of numbness but I want to thank you for your support and love that you are sending to Japan. We feel it!

What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a "successful" occasional or political piece of writing or art?
Hugh Martin: I think all art should help us acknowledge and be more aware of disaster, both in the sense of the collective and the personal. Art can help heal those who were victims; it can help those who were distant better understand.
Yuko Adachi: An agile creative response with a purpose to the event that opens up our mind and willingness to make an effort to spread what we created and talk about it.


"Children at Play"

Cheryl Gross & Susan Cohen
11" x 12"
Ball point, ink, handmade paper.

Download the pdf (424kb)

Artist Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt. She writes: "When asked about my work, I always equate it with creating an environment transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Much like an architect or urban planner, that reality and humor becomes the foundation of the work. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, my urban influence has indeed added an "edge" to my work. Coming from a totally vertical and intense environment, I now live in Jersey City, NJ." www.cmgross.com

Writer Susan Cohen is author of the forthcoming book of poems, Throat Singing, and two chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in Poetry International, River Styx, Southern Poetry Review, Verse Daily and elsewhere. She lives in Berkeley and is two-time winner of the National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Award.

QUESTIONING OUR RESPONSES

Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Susan Cohen: I found "Children at Play" wildly imaginative, yet so strange and disturbing. When I made myself address it, that sense of being disturbed turned into a deep grief. I had a nephew who died a few years ago at sea and whose body later washed ashore, so I'm especially haunted by the idea of children in the waves. As I wrote, I realized I was hearing sounds of bicycles and surf and kids playing before supper, that the visual image had a strong aural effect on me. Was that triggered by the incongruous bird perched on the bicycle? I don't know, but I found myself wanting to intone or chant, which made this poem very different from those I usually write.

What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a "successful" occasional or political piece of writing or art?
Susan Cohen: Real-world events disappear so quickly and completely from the news. Perhaps art contains the capacity to focus our attention at least a little longer.



"sliding house/meditation for after an earthquake"

Ira Joel Haber & Lisa L. Moore
10 1/8" x 7 7/8"
Ink and crayon on notebook paper.

Download the pdf (420kb)

Artist Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn New York. He is a sculptor, painter, book dealer and teacher who sometimes writes poetry and movie reviews. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had 9 one-man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum, The Hirshorn Museum & The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. In 2004 he received The Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant. Currently he teaches art at the United Federation of Teachers Retiree Program in Brooklyn. (View Ira's Work)

Writer Lisa L. Moore grew up hiking, skiing, trail riding and working on her family's ranch in the eastern foothills of the Canadian Rockies. After working as an arts journalist, Lisa went into academia and since 1991 has been teaching English and Women's and Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She is the author or editor of several books, including Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia and the Austin Project (Texas) and most recently Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscapes (MInnesota). She is the co-director, with Meta DuEwa Jones, of the Texas Institute of Literary and Textual Studies, which is offering a series of lectures, workshops, readings and symposia in 2011-12 on the topic of Poets&Scholars (more information here). Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including Sinister Wisdom, and she blogs at Sister Arts: Gardens, Poems, Art, Community.

QUESTIONING OUR RESPONSES

Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Lisa Moore: My poem started from a couple of awkwardly-translated sentences on a news report. A woman whose husband had just been found in the rubble was asked for a reaction and I was struck by the difference between watching her speak (in Japanese) and the rather bloodless subtitles: "I am relieved to see him, of course. But there are so many others still missing." Those words sounded so measured but the woman looked so distraught and desperate....not "relieved" at all. Those words and their inadequacy and what might be behind them rattled around in my brain for a few weeks and were called back to mind when I saw Ira Joel Haber's piece "Sliding House." The plainness and somber colors of the image combined with the terrifying movement of the house out of the frame seemed to capture that dissonance.

Why did this visual response come to mind when thinking about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Ira Joel Haber: I did this drawing in a notebook when I was living in San Diego teaching Art at UCSD. I lived in a very small apartment which was on a high hill. and had a patio overlooking the valley below. This drawing is of course about hanging, literally and figuratively. Some of my work, especially the work from 1969 to 1975 have a strong dose of catastrophe and destruction so this latest environmental disaster hit home.

What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a "successful" occasional or political piece of writing or art?
Lisa L. Moore: I read a lot of eighteenth-century "occasional" verse composed for particular people or events, and the poems that last are the ones that speak with enough specificity to conjure the feeling of that moment in a way that grabs the reader even across centuries. Like Pope's "Epistle to Bolingbroke." Who cares about Bolingbroke? But the line "Hope springs eternal in the human breast" breaks my heart.
Ira Joel Haber: I can recall one work that I did in direct result of real world events and that was the Viet Nam war. The role of art with regards to the above is the same as any person's reaction should be.



"River Vessel"

Kevin Morrow & Mason Schoen

Download the pdf (300kb)

Artist Kevin Morrow is a native of Wisconsin who received his BFA in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2003. Soon thereafter, he received his MFA degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand where he studied in the Contemporary Maori Department (Te Toi Hou). Upon completion, Morrow returned to the U.S. to live and work in Austin, Texas where he spent a year or so concentrating on earthworks. Morrow now lives and works in New York. Images of other work at Viewbook

Writer Mason Schoen is from San Jose, California. His short fiction has been printed in various local publications. Currently, he is working on a metaphysical mystery novel titled The Smoke Dancing Chronicle, set in San Diego, the place of his current residence.

QUESTIONING OUR RESPONSES

Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Japan's earthquake and tsunami?
Mason Schoen: The water in this photograph, although clear, contains a venomous quality to it. I was intrigued by the ripples and reflections... the stone's imprint of a missing Japanese sun beneath the surface. It seemed as though the picture was taken after a radioactive rainfall. It's a wonderfully compelling photo.

What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a "successful" occasional or political piece of writing or art?
Mason Schoen: I don't know, really. Of course art should capture experience, perspective. In my opinion, successful poetry or prose leaves a reader feeling stranded and tethered at the same time. That's what I shoot for, but often miss.


 

Want an email when a new Broadside is up? An RSS feed? We can do that.

 


Who Is Broadsided? . How Do I Submit Work? . Where is Broadsided? . I Want to Post! . Anything Else? . How Can I Help?
         
www.broadsidedpress.org       broadsided@gmail.com
Sitemap of Broadsided