Don’t Cancel “Exhibit of Non-Freedom of Expression・Thereafter” at Aichi Triennale

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Complaints or criticisms against such exhibits as the Statue (of Girl) of Peace or the portraits of the emperor as something too political/blasphemous to be exhibited have been reaching the executive committee, many of which asking to remove or cancel the exhibition.

There also being a threat hinting at a possible fire-setting, the cancellation of the exhibition was announced at the press conference on the evening of August 3rd.

While Nagoya Mayor Kawamura announced the removal and cancellation of the exhibition, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga ,after the cabinet meeting on the morning of Aug.2 rd, stated, “I would like to confirm the facts and examine them properly and respond appropriately when deciding on subsidy grants.”(Asahi Newspaper), both ending up in public declaration of possible governmental censorship on artistic expressions. Politicians are getting ready to launch outrageous moves to require every artistic expression to be restricted or censored by the state or to expect self- restrictive attitudes of artists themselves.   

We do not live looking at artistic expressions with certain people's points of view or from a certain unitary perspective, but we understand and think of artistic expressions from diverse and ipluralistic perspectives.

When a piece of art is visualized in front of our eyes, whether positively or negatively, it should be judged or considered in each and every way. Taking the visualized piece out of our sight and smashing it is exactly the same suppressive way the pre-war regme imposed its unitary view on the people. On the contrary, the visualized display will generate a variety of opinions and ideas which in turn will activate discussions based on each for the first time. Here lies the significance of continuing this exhibition.

Protecting the freedom of expression and exhibition also means securing a forum for discussion and dialogue that brings together diverse views and ideas both positive and negative arising from the visualization of freedom of expression. That is why this space should not be covered up. Therefore don’t remove or cancel the “Exhibit of Restricted/Non Freedom of Expression・Thereafter” at Aichi Triennale so that we are left with a space where we can visualize expressions and think about them in each and every way