Remembrance and reconciliation in Tomiyama Taeko’s art
For more than five decades, Tomiyama Taeko has continued to produce powerful works of art that interrogate complex and contested histories in East Asia. Her aim is to make possible ‘a shared process of critical scrutiny of Japan’s colonial history,’ and to take viewers on a unique, imaginative journey through myth and history that helps them better understand the trajectory of modern history (Hagiwara 1993). Tomiyama’s lithographs, paintings, collages and multi-media slide/dvd works are not only catalysts for re-imagining maps of East Asia, but also spark transnational dialogues that help us make sense of our constantly shifting and uncertain present. Through her artistic practice of remembrance, Tomiyama hopes to create new ground for dialogue and reconciliation.
Rebecca Jennison lives in Kyoto and teaches in the Department of Humanities at Kyoto Seika University. She has been fortunate to work with Tomiyama Taeko, on a number of projects since the early 1990s. She co-edited the volume, Imagination without Borders: Feminist Artist Tomiyama Taeko and Social Responsibility with Professor Laura Hein of Northwestern University. Tomiyama Taeko’s works may also be viewed at the website produced by Laura Hein in conjunction with this book at http://imaginationwithoutborders.northwestern.edu/.