Independence. Artworks for Ukraine.

@Midori-So Gallery, Bakuroyokoyama, Tokyo, Japan

The exhibiton “Independence. Works of art for Ukraine ” was presented between September 19-30, 2022 at Tokyo’s Midori-So Gallery. The posters and graphics presented here were created as an objection to Russian aggression, and in solidarity with the creative community of Ukraine.

Only a few months ago the war in Europe seemed like just a threat. The day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, exposed the naivety of our thinking. During the first weeks of the war, many countries, including Poland, were helping and welcoming numerous refugees. Different forms of help supporting Ukraine were offered, mainly through the initiatives and involvement of individuals.

The creative environment also resonated. One of the first graphics that appeared on the web on February 24 was the banner “In Solidarity with Ukraine” by Studio Lekko. It was widely shared on social media, both by individuals and well-known cultural institutions that wanted to demonstrate their disagreement with the invasion. In the following days, artworks created in support of Ukraine filled the Internet, and the creators (including Kwiaciarnia Grafiki, Aleksandra Morawiak, Ewelina Skowrońska, Aleksandra Morawiak, Jakub Kamiński or Beata Śliwińska Barrakuz) donated their works or income from their sale to support Ukraine. “Russian Bear” by Paweł Jońca was the most famous. A digital poster made available by the author for a symbolic PLN 10, raised a record amount of PLN 200,000 (JPY 6.000.000) the support of those in conflict zones.

Some initiatives united artists to demonstrate their disagreement with the war. Pogotowie Graficzne, a poster platform focused on social issues, launched the possibility of uploading works demonstrating against the Russian invasion the day after it started. Both well-known and up-and-coming artists, incl. Ola Jasionowska, Jan Estrada Osmycki, Grupa Projektor, Adela Madej, Dominik Przerwa, Wybornie Studio, Michał Dyakowski, Paweł Pacholec, Anna Ocipińska, Przemek Kotyński, Michał Kowalewski joined the action. Another independent event, called “33 Letters for Ukraine”, was inspired by the action of “36 Days of Type”. In this case, the alphabet became an act of solidarity – the Ukrainian letters were designed by Polish and foreign artists.

Works and initiatives dedicated to supporting Ukraine in the fight for independence will be presented at the exhibition in the Midori-So gallery, in Bakuroyokoyama, Tokyo. The exhibition is organized by The Spirit of Poland Foundation, in cooperation with the Polish Institute in Tokyo, as part of the Cultural Bridges program.

Curated and produced by Monika Brauntsch and Ewelina Skowrońska.

Participating artists:

Adela Madej
Aleksandra Morawiak
Anna Ocipińska
Beata Śliwińska / Barrakuz
Dominik Przerwa
Ewelina Skowrońska
Jakub Kamiński
Jan Estrada – Osmycki
Grupa Projektor
Krystian Kasolik / Krykas Studio
Kwiaciarnia Grafiki
Michał Dyakowski
Michał Kowalewski
Ola Jasionowska
Patryk Hardziej
Paweł Pacholec
Paweł Jońca
Przemek Kotyński
Studio Lekko
Wybornie Studio / Ewelina Madalinś ka

Participating artists / 33 Letters for Ukraine:

Vlad Boyko
Valeria Potaichuk
Dominik Robakowski
Hermes Mazali
Jacek Janiczak
Aleksandra Banaś
Mariia Momotiuk
Joasia Fidler-Wieruszewska
Yui Yamagishi
Zuza Rawa
Weronika Reron
Alina Rybacka-Gruszczyśnka
Edgar Bąk
Martyna Wyrzykowska
Oleksyi Chekal
Marek Palczewski
Alyona Korysta
Znajomy Grafik / Jacek Rudzki
Anastasia Stupak
Eugenia Tynna
Amadeusz Mierzwa
Aga Kotowska
Gabriela Baka
Weronika Woltańska
Beata Śliwinśka/ Barrakuz
Ada Zielinśka
Bartłomiej Walczuk / Osom Studios
Piotrek Chuchla
Mateusz Bieniusa
Joanna Gebal
Katarzyna Szykowna
Natalia Noszczynśka
Yotam Kellner

The project is financed by the multiannual program INDEPENDENT 2017-2022, as part of the “Cultural Bridges” subsidy program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.