Art Project

Praying for Tokyo

Aiko Miyanaga

The Hijiri Bridge was built over the Kanda River in summer 1927 to commemorate the Great Kanto Earthquake. Flanking its northern side is the former Edo shogunate building known as, “Yushima Seido”, while on its southern side sits the Byzantine-styled Holy Resurrection Cathedral (Orthodox Church in Japan) known as Nikolai-do. It is a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures. Inside the corridor of Yushima Seido, said to be the origin of libraries, artist Aiko Miyanaga will place glass books and special materials that echo them, as well as an ancient sanukite rock. It is an installation dedicated to sanctity.

(As of March 2020)

1: ©MIYANAGA Aiko Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery、Photo by Keizo Kioku
2: ©MIYANAGA Aiko Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery、Photo by Kei Miyajima
3: ©MIYANAGA Aiko Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery、Photo by Keizo Kioku


Aiko Miyanaga (Artist)

Born 1974 in Kyoto. In 2008, Miyanaga completed her graduate courses at Tokyo University of the Arts. She became well known for works that visualize time through traces of presence, such as everyday objects shaped by naphthalene and installations using salt, leaf veins and the sounds of ceramics cracking. Miyanaga was awarded with the 2013 Nissan Art Award Grand Prix. Major solo exhibitions include “between waxing and waning” at Ohara Museum of Art, Yurinso (Okayama, 2017), “MIYANAGA Aiko: NAKASORA –the reason for eternity-” at The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2012), and others.

Photo by MATSUKAGE ©MIYANAGA Aiko Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery

《Praying for Tokyo》

“If the axis of time were turned vertically, there would be a flow from Tokyo’s past to its future. If it were viewed horizontally, there would be an axis showing the connections between people and spaces. Standing at this intersection, we realize our present state of confusion. Without forgetting the tregedies of the past, what can we do today to move toward our future? Let’s start by praying together, with art.” (Kazuko Koike)

Together with three female artists – Rei Naito, Aiko Miyanaga, and Shino Yanai – the project will create “spaces of prayer”, providing requiems of the past from each Tokyo community, that are dedicated to our future.

Rei Naito

The March 10, 1945 Tokyo air raids are often called the “Shitamachi (downtown) air raids” (The death toll reached over 100,000). While atomic bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was the tactic of causing catastrophic damage to large cities that resulted in Japan’s ultimate defeat in the war. Looking back from today on the city and people of Tokyo’s past, this is how we truly pray for requiem. In other words, this is to maintain the present without repeating tragedies in history. _Here, visitors will experience Rei Naito’s creation of space and its guidance toward prayer.

Shino Yanai

Up-and-coming artist Shino Yanai investigates the relationship between the movement of human bodies and tendencies of society. The artist is also concentrating on both the heightened nationalism worldwide, and the growing solidarity resulting from the Coronavirus outbreak. The work is an exercise in realizing the gestures and conventions moulded into society on a daily level without us noticing. These expressions of performance, while focusing on actions that function to preserve the collective, call for the body to train in becoming aware of them.

Art Project