Jose Maria Sicilia Great Adventure and Art Revolution:
The Fusion of science and Art "Fukushima Winter Flowers"
President of Art&Public(NPO Art Thinktank)Committee
President of Museum at Tamada Projects
On March 11th, 2011, the sound of the Great East Japan Earthquake was recorded in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish contemporary artist, José María Sicilia, has been interested in transforming "sound" into "2D and 3D art". In the past years, he has experimented with "bird song " in order to recreate it into 2D and 3D art form, while working with computer engineers. Through trial and error, the first 2D art was created on the computer screen from the sound of Tsunami recorded in Barcelona. The movement of Tsunami appeared on the screen as lines. These complicated, unusual, non shaped lines that elucidated by computer was not easily understood. It was the moment when the new style of art "the fusion of science and art" was invented.
Everyday the impact of Earthquake and Tsunami was broadcasted in Spain and the pictures of damages by TV news and Youtube affected Sicilia. Especially "The Fukushima nuclear disaster" influenced him. As one artist who are deeply connected to Japanese culture, he experienced a different shock from the Chernobyl disaster. Siclia had checked "The Fukushima nuclear disaster" news everyday by Youtube. Later, the first 3D piece was created. The small white sculpture was titled "Winter Flowers". Sicilia has kept his sympathies towards Hiroshima atomic bomb and he had researched its archives and books in the past years. From the vast resources, "Summer Flowers" by Hara Tamiki caught his attention. The title "Winter Flowers" was the comparison to Hiroshima atomic bomb: where Fukushima nuclear accident happened in Tohoku in heavily snow.
In the beginning of April, 2011 I started a supporting program for the survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake and worked together with other 6 groups at Museum at Tamada Projects. I canceled my annual NY business trip, loaded camping tools and a few supplies, and headed to affected area in order to research and provide support for children and that area. I continued my research and had visited Iwate to Miyagi several times. In early summer Jose Maria called me to report his progression and asked for my advice about "Art of Tsunami and The Fukushima nuclear disaster ". I told him to see and face to the affected area, soon he flew to Japan. Accompanied with Sicilia, I drove along the coast, starting from Noda village in I wate towards south. Kamaishi , Oozuchi , Kesennuma , Rikuzentakata , Minami Sanriku , Ishinomaki , Sendai , Iwanuma , etc, Sicilia was surprized by the damage and kept standing silence. He had never taken any pictures, he seemed to to etch the scene in his eyes and in his heart. After leaving the affected area in Miyagi, I drove to Minami Souma, Fukushima nuclear disaster area. The streets were blocked in Minami Souma, and had stopped us several times. We decide to go to Iitate village after seeing Mr. Naoyoshi Hikosaka's painted wall of temporary community center. In the dark on the rainy day, on the mountain path of ups and downs, the area turned into a ghost town without any smell of people. I turned off air conditioner for two hours. High beam from oncoming truck took away my sight, our arrival to Iitate village could be said that it was a miracle. Sicilia was relieved and told me he thought it was the end of his life twice. For us, it was the return from death driving. After returning to Tokyo, following next day, Sicilia showed me many water color drawings on sketchbook, which depicting his fear of death driving and Iitate village turned into a ghost town. In his sketchbook, there was a big monster eating Iitate village.
March, 2012, we again went to Noda Village for a workshop in affected area "3.11 Chinkon, 2.12 Kibou".We finished two workshops in Noda Junior High School and the village office. On March 11th, a cold wave hit Tohoku area, under the bad condition, we tried to install land art. After Tsunami swept away a pine forest, the cold wind from the Pacific Ocean hit us directly. The cold wind was very strong, as if our heart turns into ice. It was my first notion of this severe environment in north coast. At night it begins to snow, it was the heaviest snowfall they have had in for years. One year ago, on March 11th, I watched snow on TV, now I had experienced the cold.
July 2012, we organized 20 workshops from Iwaki city to Iwate within two weeks. The workshops at nursery school, kindergarten, and elementary school were a challenge to my body and to my energy. Soon both Sicilia and I lost physical strength and we were about to scream, two workshops in different location for one day, we continued the routine.
During the two weeks, we visited Okawa elementary school and Minami Sanriku village again. Due to an introduction from a friend, we visited Ms. Endo Miki's home. Ms. Endo past away while she was announcing the danger of Tsunami for people, she had worked in village office. Until her death, she kept alarming people "Tsunami is coming! Please escape!". I lost my words by facing to her mother crying, she must had deep concerns in her life.
This Sicilia's activity becomes an important role as archive, establishment of the fusion of art and science, and Sicilia's expression to build new history. "Fukushima Winter Flowers" has started on October 3rd 2013, in Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art.
Siclia Workshop with children