The first in a series of three exhibitions, Messages for our Children features 60 photographs captured by children in disaster stricken areas of Japan.
These images celebrate the rehabilitation of Tohoku and the surrounding region, rather than documenting its destruction.
On March 9, 2011 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck 160 kilometres east off the main Honshu Island.
Two days later a double tsunami swept the Tohoku region eradicating towns and villages, killing over 20,000 people. In memory of this tragedy, each shot captures a candid ‘behind-the-scenes’ moment, characteristic of the strong spirit of the Japanese people.
The powerful simplicity of each captured moment is mesmerising, and an example for the rest of the international community to live by. The photograph titled, ‘I found what I’ve been searching for’ shows Mr Matsumoto standing among the ruins of his printing company in Ishinomaki City. The premises of Shokodo Printing were flooded by a 2m high tsunami, destroying all the machinery, merchandise, supplies and products.
Despite these hardships, Mr Matsumoto is still smiling.
Hosted by the Japan Foundation, the exhibition plays an integral role in their mission to create cultural and intellectual bonds between Japan and other nations. Established in 1972, the organisations initiatives include art exhibitions, film screenings, Japanese language education and a public lending library.
Each shot captures a candid ‘behind-the-scenes’ moment, characteristic of the strong spirit of the Japanese people. Part of Head On Photo Festival 2012, these photos represent the voice of a community fighting for their future.