Inner Strength. The women of Poland and Japan @ Tsutaya T- Site

“Inner Strength” – an exhibition of Polish and Japanese female illustrators in Tokyo will be presented from 4th till 6th December at Garden Gallery, Tsutaya T- Site in Tokyo.

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 their inner strength?

These questions were asked by Polish and Japanese illustrators within the project „Inner Strength. The Women of Poland and Japan” shown in the Spiral Gallery in 2018. This year the exhibition is coming back to Tokyo, and will be shown from December 4th – 6th at the Tsutaya T-site Garden Gallery. Tsutaya T-Site is a bookstore, concept store and and a cultural space, which embodies „A Library in the Woods” concept. The award-winning building, designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, is filled with books, music and events and is an important landmark on Tokyo’s cultural map.

The aim of the exhibition is to examine the role and perceptions of the women of Poland and Japan, as well as to launch an album designed by the renowned Japanese book designer, Daichi Aijima. Distant parts of the world, two different countries, eastern and western civilizations. The female illustrators invited to participate in the project all embody their own definition of internal strength. Through the lens of tradition, belief, superstition and the hardships of everyday life and work, they explain what motivates them. Touching on their adversities, they refute the stereotypes and social roles assigned to them. At the same time, they evoke the wisdom of previous generations and draw from mutual support. Their attitude is marked by a deep concern for others and a disdain for injustice or unequal treatment.

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

As part of the exhibition, an album „Inner Strength. The women of Poland and Japan” will be released. The aim of the publication is to capture the beauty of the works created by the artists as well as their texts, referring to the theme of female strength.

The exhibition “Inner Strength. The Women of Poland and Japan” is financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, within the scope of the Multiannual Program NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2022, as part of the “Cultural bridges” subsidy program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute organized in collaboration with the Polish Embassy in Tokyo and the Polish Institute in Tokyo, and supported by Tokyo-based studio Juice.

The event is following the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Japan and Poland.