The Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011, and an enormous wave of water swept through towns in the Tōhoku (Northeast) region, destroying virtually everything in its path and irrevocably damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This triple disaster was of such epic proportions that it became a defining moment for Japan. A number of photographers felt compelled to record not only the events’ physical effects on the land, but also to interpret the overarching significance of the tragedy through art. This exhibition is the first in the U.S. or Japan to explore the photographic response to these events. Divided into two sections—the first focused on the earthquake and tsunami and the second on the Fukushima disaster—the exhibition includes the work of 17 photographers, some of whom are among Japan’s most celebrated artists (such as Naoya Hatakeyama and Nobuyoshi Araki) and others who are emerging talents. Taken as a whole, their work explores the way art provides a powerful language for reflecting on tragic events and contributing to human recovery.
The exhibition at Asia Society Texas Center marks the fifth anniversary of these cataclysmic events, and the ongoing journey of Japanese artists in response to them.
In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11 is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Enjoy FREE admission to the exhibition all December long!
Regular admission to this exhibition is free for Asia Society Members and children ages 12 and under, $5 for Nonmembers.
Free Admission Times
There are many opportunities to visit this exhibition for FREE! Check out the list below.
Reception Celebrating In the Wake Exhibition
Thursday, September 29, 6:30-8:30 pm
Family Day: Mid-Autumn Festival
Saturday, October 1, 1-4 pm
Friday, October 21, 6-9 pm
Attending an Asia Society program? Your ticket grants you free admission to the gallery before the start of the program.
Enjoy lunch at the Jade Stone Cafe at Asia Society and receive complimentary admission to the gallery. Show your receipt to Visitor Services to receive your free pass.
Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday– Sunday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Photography of the exhibition without flash is permitted.
Houston, Texas, September 13, 2016—On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and enormous wave of water swept through the Tōhoku (Northeast) region of Japan, destroying virtually everything in its path and irrevocably damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This disaster was of such epic proportion that it became a defining moment for Japan.
Today, the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima failure have collectively become known as the “Triple Disaster” or “3/11,” after the date of the first events. In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11, is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is the first exhibition to explore the photography created in reaction to these tragic events. Their work explores the way art provides a powerful language for reflecting on tragic events and contributing to human recovery.
The exhibition will open at Asia Society Texas Center on Saturday, October 1 in the Center’s Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery. Bridget Bray, Nancy. C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions, states: “We are delighted to feature such important work in Houston, a city with a deep appreciation for contemporary photography and photographers working in Japan.” On view will be approximately 80 works by 17 photographers, some among Japan’s most celebrated artists and others who are emerging talents: Takashi Arai (born 1978), Nobuyoshi Araki (born 1940), Ishu Han (born 1987), Naoya Hatakeyama (born 1958), Takashi Homma (born 1962), Kikuji Kawada (born 1933), Rinko Kawauchi (born 1972), Keizo Kitajima (born 1954), Kōzo Miyoshi (born 1947), Yasusuke Ota (born 1958), Masato Seto (born 1953), Lieko Shiga (born 1980), Shimpei Takeda (born 1982), Masaru Tatsuki (born 1974), Daisuke Yokota (born 1984) and Tomoko Yoneda (born 1965). An area featuring a lost-and-found photo installation includes rescued personal snapshots that were washed up in the debris and sorted for survivors—offering a tangible way to hold onto memories.
The exhibition coming to Houston during the 5th anniversary of these momentous events in Japan has special local relevance. As a coastal region with a long history of experiencing, and recovering from, natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding, Houston and the surrounding areas have many points of connection with Tōhoku. The exhibition’s featured artists created work in the wake of 3/11, leading others towards new ways of thinking about, and learning how to cope with, the enormity of the changes they experienced. Their creativity and artistry can be a source of inspiration for local residents in Houston who have had similar experiences.
The exhibition will be on view through January 1, 2017, and admission is free for members and children ages 12 and under, $5 for nonmembers. Asia Society Texas Center, located at 1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, Texas, is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 6 pm, and Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm.
This exhibition at Asia Society is made possible through major support from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Nancy and Robert J. Carney, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Exhibitions, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.
Download the press release here.
Artist Talk, Takashi Arai and In the Wake. Sakura Media (page 6). December 4, 2016.
Tragedy on Display: Two Houston Exhibits Compel Us to Recall Atrocities. Houston Chronicle. December 9, 2016.
Munemasa Takahashi discusses the Lost and Found project, focusing on the recovery, restoration, and digitization of personal photographs lost in the 3/11 disaster, currently featured in the Asia Society exhibition, In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11.
Featured photographer Tomoko Yoneda discusses her career and work.
Japanese photographer and winner of the Kimura Ihei Award for photography, Takashi Arai, discusses his work, process, and the effect the events of March 11, 2011 have had on his photography. Using the classic technique of the daguerrotype, Arai creates what he describes as "micro-monuments" of his subjects.
Reception Celebrating In the Wake Exhibition
Thursday, September 29, 2016, 6:30-8:30 pm
Enjoy a free preview of the artwork and hear from Anne E. Havinga, the exhibition's co-curator.
Global Perspectives Workshop for Educators: East Asia
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 8-3 pm
China's role in east Asia, North Korea's status quo, and relations with the U.S. are some of the key topics that will be discussed at this workshop. In the afternoon, participants will have a private guided tour of exhibitions at Asia Society focusing on Japan and North Korea.
Curator Talk: Anne Nishimura Morse
Sunday, November 20, 2:00-3:30 pm
Guest co-curator Anne Nishimura Morse discusses the exhibition, the significance of 3/11, and the events' impact on Tōhoku's artistic community.
Creation Station: Expressive Environments
Saturday, December 3, 2016, 12:30-2:30 pm
Create experimental images inspired by the In the Wake exhibition using a photographic process known as cyanotypes.
Artist Talk: Takashi Arai
Sunday, December 4, 2016, 2:00-3:30 pm
Artist Takashi Arai discusses how his daguerreotypes can serve as compact monuments, compelling us to remember.
Learning from the Past: Japan's 2011 Triple Disaster and Emergency Preparedness in Southeast Texas
Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 6:00-8:30 pm
Local experts will address economic realities on natural disasters and share how communities can better prepare for the eventuality of these tragedies.
Saturday, October 8, 2016, 3 pm
To schedule a group tour outside of these designated days, please fill out the form below or contact Sarah Collins, Education & Outreach Coordinator, at SCollins@AsiaSociety.org.
School tours, facilitated by the education department staff and volunteers, provide educationally rich interactive opportunities for students to learn about Asian art, culture, and traditions. These free tours are open to all public, private, charter, alternative, and home schools. Visits take place on weekdays, Tuesday through Friday, for one to two hours.
All school tours and subsequent interactive projects are tethered to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and district curriculum standards. They may include:
Docent-led tour of exhibitions in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery
"Introduction to Asia” PowerPoint Presentation highlighting essential information about Asian art, culture, geography, and politics
Guided tour of the Texas Center and discussion of its unique architecture
Interactive projects based on the current exhibition
At least two weeks’ notice is required for school tours and additional advance notice is required for groups larger than 25. Learn more about the school tour interactive project at the link below.
For more information, please contact SchoolToursTX@AsiaSociety.org.
The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
This exhibition is made possible through major support from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Nancy and Robert J. Carney, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Exhibitions, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.