Earlier this year, the Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo presented Artfully Connected, a look at Sweden through the eyes of an exciting group of artists from Japan, Korea, Sweden and the US, curated by artist
Eva Vargö. The artists who participated were: Young Soon CHA, Korea (Fiber),
Hikaru CHO, Japan (Photos and videos), Miwha OH, Korea (Metalsmith – Jewelry), Hisako SEKIJIMA, Japan (Basketmaker),
Jin-Sook SO, Sweden/Korea (Paintings on steel mesh), Naoki TAKEYAMA, Japan (Enamelled works on copper), Eva VARGÖ, Sweden(Paper weaving and paper Objects),
Lisa VERSHBOW, USA (Metalsmith – jewelry). Click the links on each name and you can read a brief “story” about the artists and the influence Sweden had on their works.
Hisako Sekijima, for example, describes the map of Sweden she found on the internet as influencing, SE, the basket she created for the exhibition. Hikaru Cho’s Every Thing Is Not As it Seems speaks to discrimination.”We always bear prejudice and a sense of discrimination somewhere inside,” says the artist in her story. “Often, we don’t even notice it. I have experienced it many times while living in Japan with Chinese nationality. People differentiate the own ethnic group from others in order to strengthen the solidarity.” You can read more about Cho, in the Asahi Shimbun article, “Japan-born artist turns her eye to discrimination,” by Louis Templado, June 14, 2013, http://ajw.asahi.com/. The Embassy also teamed up with well-known Swedish cameramaker Hasselblad to create a behind-the-scenes video, filmed by Eric Micotto, that you can view here: http://vimeo.com/65644600.
I enjoyed participating in this show: meeting artmakers in different media from differnt parts of the world. Though it was organized on the theme of one nation, Sweden, the states where artists are working /showing /studying or studied or were born in rang multiple nations, that is to say: someone was born in Korea, studied in Japan and Sweden, lives in Sweden, shows in various countries….Art is really the sole and useful key for us to realize our mutual connections. I am grateful to the organizer of the show, Ms. Eva Vargo, as well as everyone who has had connections with not only myself but all of these participants such as galleries, museums , eucational institutions, private atists collectors and audiences all over the world.