The exhibition “Inner Strength. The Women of Poland and Japan”  will be presented at Tokyo’s Spiral Gallery.

26th and 30th September 2018

Are Polish and Japanese women similar? How do they perceive themselves? What is their everyday life like – work, family and entertainment? What is their role in the ever-changing world and what is the inner strength, that helps them build a social position?

These questions were asked by Polish and Japanese illustrators within the project co-organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute – „Inner Strength. The Women of Poland and Japan. ” An exhibition of their works will be presented between the 25th – 30th of September at the Spiral Gallery in Tokyo. The aim of the exhibition is to look at the role and perception of women of Poland and Japan.

The female illustrators invited to participate in the project all embody their own definition of internal strength. Distant parts of the world, two different countries, eastern and western civilization. How do they perceive themselves, what cycles do they perpetuate from which they want to escape? How different are they and what connects women from these two remote places?

By revealing the world of traditions, beliefs, superstitions, hardships of everyday life and work, they reveal their characters and what motivates them. Touching on their adversities, they refute stereotypes and social roles assigned to them. At the same time, they evoke the wisdom of previous generations and draw from mu- tual support. Their attitude is marked by a deep concern for others and a disdain for injustice or unequal treatment.

„Over the centuries, women have often had to overcome extreme hardships in their fight for equal treatment. Therefore, looking at the works presented at the exhibition, we dream of a world full of sensitivity, intuition, beauty and determination, where inner strength is used rather for creation and development.” – says Ewelina Skowrońska, co-curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition „Inner Strength. The women of Poland and Japan” is curated by Monika Brauntsch from The Spirit of Poland foundation and the Polish illustrator living in Tokyo, Ewelina Skowrońska. The illustra- tors from Poland are represented by Basia Grzybowska Flores, Magda Pilaczyńska, Patrycja Podkościelny, Ewelina Skowrońska and Daria Solak. The Japanese artists are Aona Hayashi, Hitomi Itoh, Aki Ishibashi, Noriyo Yoshida and MeMe collective (Hisae Maeda, Izumi Showkawa and Chika Higashi).

Located in the central part of Tokyo, Spiral Gallery, designed by the Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, is an example of the post-modernism of the 80’s, created with the goal of combining art with everyday needs. The original, multifunctional space is also for exhibitions, a center for performing arts, a space for design and art galleries and a place to relax.

The exhibition “Inner Strength. The Women of Poland and Japan” was organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the POLSKA DESIGN programme, in collaboration with the Polish Embassy in Tokyo and the Polish Institute in Tokyo, as well as the Tokyo-based studio Juice.