“I wish for you to stand up for what you care about, by participating in a global art project and together we will turn the world… Inside Out,” said French artist JR at a TED talk on March 2, 2011 – coincidentally just 9 days before the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
In November of last year, JR spent weeks driving from Kesenuma to Fukushima in a truck equipped with a camera and a large-format printer. He took portraits of about 400 people including children, local fishermen and shopkeepers. The posters, which were exhibited around town, have now traveled to Watari-um for his first solo exhibition in Tokyo.
In addition to a retrospective of his previous work, there is also a participatory element to the exhibition. Visitors can enter a photo booth in the exhibition space and have a poster-size print made. They can take the poster home, post it wherever they like, and are encouraged to send the photos back to the Watari-um museum, or post it to social networks with the hashtag #JRWATARI.
The concept of the project is to give everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and a statement of what they stand for, with the world. It’s currently on display, through June 2, 2013.