We applaud the insight of Daisuke Tsuda for his curation of “After ‘Freedom of Expression?'” and for choosing to include the “Statue of a Girl of Peace” in the Aichi Triennale. We are dismayed that this section of the exhibition has been shut down (“Statue threats disrupt art festival,” Aug. 5).
As The Japan Times reviewer noted in “Diving into the World of Political Performance” in the July 31 edition, this year’s triennale brings political performances from around the world to viewers in a dynamic and innovative way. As many who have studied the “military comfort women” issue know, while it reveals a dark part of Japan’s military history, it also sheds light on sexual violence in conflict zones everywhere, including the U.S. military occupation of Okinawa and South Korea today.
Showing such a work of art in a public space not only creates an opportunity to learn about and reflect upon what is a global human rights issue in the widening context of socially engaged contemporary art, it also creates a space for dialogue and reconciliation toward a more peaceful future.
Kyoto Seika University
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.