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EXHIBITION

CREATION Project 2011

Tote Bags Made in East JapanA Collaboration between 180 Creative Artists and Artisans in East Japan

  • DATES : Thu. November 24 - Thu. December 22, 2011
  • HOURS : 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays. Admission free.

Since 1990 Guardian Garden and CREATION Gallery G8 have hosted an annual charity event targeted at enabling many people to sense the fun and enjoyment that can be derived from art and design. Each occasion consists of the exhibition and sale of goods created free of charge by creative artists with close ties to Recruit’s two galleries, with the proceeds donated to worthy causes. Starting in 2009 this initiative was revamped under a new title, the CREATION Project, whose objective is to enrich everyday lives through the power of design. For the 2011 event, 180 artists generously agreed to devote their design talents to the creation of tote bags as part of a project to help bring about recovery from the calamitous earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan on March 11.

The created tote bags all feature “shirushi-zome,” a traditional Japanese dyeing technique tracing back to the Heian era (8-12th centuries). Shirushi-zome, a common feature of items including happi coats and fishermen’s banners, involves the dyeing of designs, lettering, etc. completely by hand. The four prefectures devastated in the events of March – Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki – are home to some of Japan’s finest fishing ports, and until the recent tragedy shirushi-zome banners fluttered in vivid profusion in prayers for safety at sea and abundant catches.

The tote bags created for this year’s project were all hand-dyed by shirushi-zome artisans from the four affected prefectures. Through the project, the galleries’ aim was to go beyond the provision of monetary donations and support local industry directly through work consignment. A total of 180 cheerful and fun tote bags will be on display, available for purchase, at the two gallery venues. Proceeds will be contributed in entirety to the disaster regions. We eagerly hope many visitors will come to discover and buy the unique tote bag perfectly suited to their tastes, thereby participating in this most worthy of charity events.