We left Narita on Thursday and arrived in New York City around noon on the same day. We brought in overwhelming volume of stuff and all members worked hard to manage them. Please look at the pile of cardboard boxes! This picture doesn’t show all but there are total of 28 staff members along with their suitcases as well. It was fun, reminding me of my school trip. However, the traveling itself made me exhausted (laugh).
As soon as we landed in the United States, we moved to a gallery to bring in pictures and drawings.
The venue is a gallery called AIGA located in the Chelsea district in Manhattan. The gallery embraces a high ceiling and sophistication of New York City. This is the place where 80 photographs and 400 pictures drawn by children in the disaster area will be displayed.
The theme of photographs is Sasaki Portrait Studio. It consists of photographs of Onagawa city taken by my father and me, and also photographs of the children in the disaster area. We will also show nine restored portraits of ‘Masters in 20th Century’ taken by my father. They are not in perfect condition but we have decided to show them as the survivors of the tsunami. When they are spotlighted, even a melted surface shows a good taste. My father’s large format camera (4x5), which was found in rubble and still covered with mud and salt from seawater, is displayed as it is. It is vividly describing the impact from the tsunami.
The photographs taken by my father are displayed on the wall. The moment when the first portrait of the series of ship carpenters was placed, I said to my father, “Dad, finally you made your global debut as a photographer”, and I was almost moved to tears. The master carpenter in the picture even looked happy.
There are workers who put photographs and pictures on the walls for exhibition. They are Lisa and Bob. Just as you expect from professionals in NYC, they are skillful and have good sense. The way they measure the wall to level and nail the objects onto the wall in a second is truly a work of craftsmanship. It took them five hours to finish displaying the photograph section. Since the ceiling is so high, Lisa and Bob use a lifter shown in this picture to decorate the wall. You don’t see a ladder of that high in Japan so often, which is interesting to just watch.
The pictures drawn by children are individually mounted in acrylic frames, and all are dazzling on the wall. When you take time and look at each picture closely one by one, each touches you deeply and much more than photographs do. I feel pain by looking at them. I feel sad by thinking that they have been hanging tough with such feelings. These drawings will make you realize that all these children have kept going forward positively while their little hearts have been suffering from great pain and distress. I want many people in New York City to see and feel these children’s hearts.