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A Future for Memory /

Art and Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake /

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A Future for Memory /

Art and Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake /

Look Closer

A Future for Memory /

Art and Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake /


February 11 – September 5, 2021 / 2021年2月11日〜9月5日

On March 11, 2011, Japan was rocked by a massive earthquake that caused extensive damage to the Great Eastern region. The ensuing tsunami swallowed up coastal towns, and caused irrevocable damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

In the 10th anniversary year of the Great East Japan Earthquake, or 3.11, A Future for Memory addresses how we deal with memory when our physical surroundings are drastically altered. It focuses on the changing physical and psychological landscapes in the aftermath of 3.11 and shows that regional disasters have global relevance. Events such as 3.11 force us to rethink our ways of life in relation to nature. Even in the midst of disasters, people have the desire to create and to express themselves—as does nature.

The works in the exhibition trigger memories, emotions and imagination. They serve as more than objects of memory; they remind us of the force of nature and the continuous efforts of survivors to rebuild their lives. There is a future for memory through the creation of connections that will be passed on for generations to come.

Featuring works by:

  • Masao Okabe
  • Chihiro Minato
  • Atsunobu Katagiri
  • Rias Ark Museum of Art
  • The center for remembering 3.11
  • Lost & Found Project
  • “Lost Homes” Scale Model Restoration Project
  • Tsunami Ladies film project team (Producers: Emiliano Rodriguez Nuesch, Victor Orellana Acuña)

Curator: Fuyubi Nakamura





  • 岡部昌生
  • 港千尋
  • 片桐功敦
  • リアス・アーク美術館
  • Lost & Found Project
  • 「失われた街」模型復元プロジェクト
  • 3がつ11にちをわすれないためにセンター
  • 「津波レディース」製作委員会

キュレーター : 中村冬日

Note: Due to COVID-19, all museum visitors must pre-purchase a timed-entry ticket.

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Watch the remarks from the opening day of the exhibition below or view here.

To honour and celebrate the occasion, visitors heard remarks from Debra Sparrow, acclaimed Musqueam knowledge keeper and artist; Anthony Shelton, MOA Director; Yuko Shimizu, Executive Director of the Japan Foundation, Toronto; Hatori Takashi, Consul General of Japan in Vancouver; and Fuyubi Nakamura, exhibition curator.

Watch a tour in Japanese with English subtitles of A Future For Memory here.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, MOA Curator Fuyubi Nakamura gave an online tour of A Future for Memory: Art and Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2021, to reflect on the event and learn from the recovery process. This tour is in Japanese, with English subtitles.

Supported by

Photo credits (L–R): 1. Flower: Southern magnolia/Location: Ukedo, Namine town, from Atsunobu Katagiri’s Sacrifice series, 2013–2014. 2. Rescued damaged photos found inYamamoto-chōin Watari District, Miyagi Prefecture on display at The Museum of Anthropology. Photo: Alina Ilyasova. 3. Masao Okabe making a frottage of an irradiated tree in Ōkuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, 2015. Photo: Chihiro Minato. 4. A rescued damaged photo found in Yamamoto-chō in Watari District, Miyagi Prefecture. ©︎Lost & Found Project. 5. A scale model of Ōfunato City, Iwate Prefecture. Photo: Tatsuya Fuji. ©︎The “Lost Homes” Scale Model Restoration Project.