"Everything I Could Lose"

I was invited by the Intersection for the Arts to participate in a group exhibition "(re)collection." I was asked to create a new work in response to the thousands of photographs recovered from the city of Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

They lost everything. This word "everything" is a word we use everyday but at the time we experience what it really means, it must become speechless. It was very difficult to make a new work in reaction to such a surpassing disaster. I also encountered an ethical issue where we all actually have many practical things we can do for them, and we don't. Immediately I started thinking about why Itzhak Perlman played violin on TV right after the 9.11. This should be my job.

Imagining pain of the people who had lost everything was my beginning. Soon, I connected the words, "Evacuation" and "Eviction," and the image of piled-up "everything" in front of evicted houses overlapped on overflowing amount of images of endless debris from the places suffered Tsunami.

At any moment of my life, your life, something unexpected will happen and we all possibly lose "everything" we have. I was not normally aware of how much I had been supported by the actual physical objects around me. Of course information in my brain and on my computer is very important, but also this indefinable and intimate materiality of objects is everything.

We all cannot experience the pain of others. That's always the beginning of all troubles and sadness. So, I decided to, at least, experience physically the materiality of everything I have. Everything I could lose at any moment. I am losing them at least by the time I die.


Taro Hattori

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