Paintings by the Venezuelan Yanomami artist Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe. EFE/MARÍA ROLDÁN

Tokyo’s Mori Museum explores link between art, ecology in exhibition

Tokyo, Oct 17 (EFE).- The Mori Museum in Tokyo celebrates its 20th anniversary with an exhibition that reflects on the relationship of artists with the evolution and problems of the environment.

“Our ecology: towards a planetary way of life” is divided into four parts. The first attempts to address the complexity of ecology which, although it is currently usually related to environmental issues, actually refers to a broader concept that also addresses social and economic aspects.

Through the work of personalities such as the German-American conceptual artist Hans Haacke and sculptor Nina Canell, the section tries to show the visitor the use of organic matter such as shells as a kind of cement for the floor of an industrial facility.

Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri’s installation “The Disturbance” (2023) about the pearl industry. EFE/MARÍA ROLDÁN

The second part of the exhibition focuses on works by Japanese artists produced between the 1950s and 1980s, specifically during the post-war Japanese economic boom and the reaction of these artists to one of its negative impacts: extreme pollution.

It was also at that time that debates about climate began to spread, with the expansion of technology, and where the then revolutionary video art would begin to emerge.

The exhibition thus establishes a dialogue between generations, those of then and the contemporary, to make a more complete x-ray of the evolution of concern for the environment.

“I think this part shows us, first of all, that the artists detected problems in advance. Second, that many of these problems, challenges and hopes are still valid, far from being resolved even though the artists saw them a long time ago,” said German Martin Germann, the deputy curator of the Mori Museum.

“Art can help us with a variety of tools that only exist in this medium. Above all, it can raise doubts but also hope and it can do both at the same time,” said Germann, who spoke Tuesday with EFE during the press screening of the exhibition, organized one day before its opening to the public.

The third and fourth parts of the exhibition talk about how the advance of civilization has led to industrialization, modernization and globalization, and its impact on the different ecologies, both social, economic and environmental, as a result of the choices made so far, and future perspectives.

“It is interesting to see how, on a planetary scale, the presence of humans is short and how much activity they have already carried out despite that short period,” Germann said, activities that have had a profound impact on the evolution of the Earth and their challenges.

Exhibitions such as this “open a platform for debate,” he said, looking back to the past to propose solutions for the future. EFE