Organizers of the Fukushima Biennale are seeking supporters to help fund a public display of the "Sun Child," a gigantic statue of a boy gazing up at the future, at this summer's festival.
Created by contemporary artist Kenji Yanobe, the Sun Child is meant to represent hope for the country’s reconstruction following the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake that triggered a nuclear disaster.
Organizers are seeking individual donations of 10,000 yen ($127) to help fund the display.
The Sun Child stands 6 meters tall and is decked out in radiation protection gear. Holding a helmet in one hand and revealing a scarred and bruised face, the child looks up at the sky. A Geiger counter embedded in the Sun Child's chest is set at zero.
The 46-year-old Yanobe has focused on creating statues under the theme of nuclear energy and radiation.
After the reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year, Yanobe decided he needed to make a stronger statement.
In his words, "an embarrassingly positive one."
He completed the work last autumn. The statue is now on display at the Daigo Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall in Tokyo's Koto Ward through July 1.
The organizers are planning to display the statue at the Contemporary Art Biennale of Fukushima, to be held at Fukushima Airport and other venues from Aug. 11.
"We want to talk about the future with hope, while getting on with our lives and not allowing the past events to be forgotten," said Koichi Watanabe, an artist and associate professor at Fukushima University, who heads the biennale executive committee.
For information, visit (http://tenpo.ne.jp/) or call Tenpo Inc. at 03-6279-4975.
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