ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS’ STATEMENT ON GENDER EQUALITY AND “AFTER ‘FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION?’”

We, the undersigned artists and cultural workers, feel compelled to speak out against the closure of “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’” at Aichi Triennale 2019 from the perspective of gender equality—one of the stated principles of the Triennale’s organization.

One of the primary targets of the harassment and threats of violence received by the Triennale was the sculpture Statue of Peace by Korean artists Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung, a work inspired by the voices and experiences of the women who suffered under the “comfort woman” system of forced prostitution, sexual slavery, and human trafficking exploited by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy in military campaigns in the Asia-Pacific from the 1930s onwards. This is a work of art that fundamentally addresses the human rights of women. Contrary to contentions that it espouses anti-Japanese propaganda, Statue of Peace was made by the artists to commemorate the courage of the survivors of the “comfort woman” system, to acknowledge their trauma, and to encourage the public to reflect on the history of conflict-related sexual violence. The opposition and hate speech that have been directed against the work in recent weeks, as well as the pressure that politicians have applied on the Triennale in their calls for the work’s removal, are rooted in misperception and far exceed fair critique of the work. Such responses to the work unfortunately reflect the pervasive entrenchment of discrimination against women in Japanese society today, and stand in direct contradiction to the Triennale’s commitment to gender equality.

Despite the many decades that have passed since the era of the “comfort woman” system, gender-based discrimination remains pervasive at all levels of Japanese society today. Such discrimination of course affects diverse genders. To accept it is to perpetuate the violation of the human rights of all genders and others in socially vulnerable or marginalized positions.

With acute consciousness of the history of sexual violence and discrimination to which the survivors of the “comfort woman” system were subjected, we voice our strong objection to all forms of gender discrimination, as well as to discrimination in general.

Statue of Peace could have provided an opportunity for much-needed discussion in the context of the Triennale. This opportunity has sadly been lost due to verbal attacks and threats of violence. We harbor grave misgivings that the same kind of violent suppression of human rights–related discourse will be used again in the future to silence those who wish to address Japan’s history of aggression. Yet after all that has happened, we still believe in our capacity to empathize with and love others, and in the creativity of art past, present, and future as means for resisting such forces of oppression. As such, we call for the complete restoration of the autonomy of the Triennale and its participating artists, starting with the necessary reopening of “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’”

List of 557 Artists and cultural workers (October 4. 2019)

Adachi Yusuke

AIKYO Koji

Akemi Sakamoto

Akiyama Kanako

Amano Chieko

Amano Chika

Ahn Sehong ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Andrew Maerkle

Anna Hulacova (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Aota Yumi

Arai Hiroyuki ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Asano Moe

Azumi Kajiwara

Candice Breitz (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Chan Cho Kiu

Chim↑Pom ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Dora Garcia (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Endo Kaori

Endo Mizuki

Fujii Hikaru (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Fujiki Naomi

Fujiki Rika

Fujishima Yutaka

Furukawa Mika

Furukawa Yumiko

Ge Yulu (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Hamasaki Fumina

Hara Makiko

Hashimoto Satoshi

Hibi Yoshitaka

Hirai Yu

Hirano Fumie

Homma Mei

Honjyo Chikae

Horisaki Takashi

Hozumi Toshiaki 

Hukushima Natsuko

Ichijo Miyuki

Ichimura Misako

Ide Kenji

Idetsu Kyoko

Igeta Hiroko

IIYAMA Yuki

Ikezaki Takuya

Ikuyo Yamamoto 

Inoue Akihiko

Inoue Fumio

Irie Maki

Ishida Yoshiyuki

Ishikawa Takuma

Isihara Nen

Ito Ruri

Ito Tari

Iwaki Kyoko

Jason Waite

Jinushi Maiko

Kamimura Megumi

Kanai Shoko

Kaneta Tsutomu

Kaneta Tsutomu

Kano Ai

Katarina Zdjelar (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Kira Tomoko

Kitahara Megumi

Kim-Eun-sung ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Kim-Seo-kyung ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Koizumi Meiro ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Kokatsu Reiko

KUNIMATSU Rika

Kushi Kaoru

Kyun-Chome

Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Ma Ran

Machimura Haruka

Matake Makiko

Matsushita Seiko

Matsuzaki Yuko

Mika Eglinton

Minkyung Choi 

Miriam Cahn (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Miyakawa Tomohiro

Miyakoshi Satoko

MIZUNO Ryoko

MIZUNO Ryoko

MOMOSE Aya

Monica Mayer

Mori Yoshitaka

Moto Hidenori

Motoyama Hisako

Murai Noriko

Nagakura Yukiko

Nagata Kouzou ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Nakamura Hiroko

Nakamura Kyoko

Nakao Hanae

Nihonbijyutukai

Nina Horisaki-Christens

Womens Action Network

Nito Kento

Ogawa Nozomu

Ogawa Tomoko

Ogura Toshimaru

Ohashi Ai  ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Okamoto Yuka ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Oku Masayuki

Ookubo Ari

Osaka Koichiro

Otake Keiko

Ozaki Midori

Pangrok Sulap (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Park Chan-kyong (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Rachi Akira

Ray Thoma

Regina José Galindo (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Sadaaki Iwasaki

Sakamoto Natsumi

sakurai keisuke

Sato Maiko

Sayaki Oguri

Shimada Yoshiko (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Shimbo Kiyono

Shinichi Takashima

Shinohara Kumiko

Shirai Mio

Shirakawa Yoshio ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Shu Taguchi

Stuart Ringholt (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Sumitomo Fumihiko

Tachibana Hiroshi

Takeya Daisuke 

Taki Asako

Tan Ru Yi

Tanaka Koki (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Tanaka Natsuko

Tania Pérez Córdova (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

TANIZAWA Sawako

Tanokura Kouichi

Teppei Higuchi 

Toda Teiichi

Tsuchiya Seiichi

Tsuda Michiko (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

TSUGA MEGUMI

Usui Yui (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

URA Ayaka

Utamura Hanae

Watabuki Nobuko

Watanabe Eri

Yabumae Tomoko

Yamamoto Seiko

Yokochi Sawako

Yoshigai Nao

Yoshiki Marie

Yoshimoto Midori

Yumi Song

Aisuke Kondo

Akira Takaishi

Ayumi Seki

HITOMI TOMIDA

Mizuki Takahashi

Kohei Takahashi

Tomomi Goto

Hatsuki Masato

Gonoi Ikuo

Kamiya Michiko

shinya kigure

Ayako Nagata

Takehisa Yuu

Hata Ryoko

Michio Hayashi

Hosaka Takeshi

MisatoShimura

ai isogai

Haji Oh

Noriko Takeda

Koichi Nishiyama

takedashota

Junya Sato

Yuko Nakamura

Nakamura Yuko

ISHII Yoshiko

Tomita Sayo

TOYOSHIMA Yasuko

KEN Sasaki

Sunairi Hiroshi

kawahara takuya

Hiroaki Yoshida

Miyazawa Miho

Keita Kawakami

Chong Ri Ae

Lisa Someda

AOYAMA MIKI

Konishi, Ikue

Okada Michi

KoshimaYukiko

Yasuko WATANABE

ISHIKURA TOSHIAKI

Taisuke Shimanuki

Ayako Kawahara

YAMADA Kango

Shimizu Tomoko

AOKI SHOKO

Shirakawa Non

Fuji, Hroshi

Akira the Hustler

Jin Murata

Nobuhiro Fukui

nobuko masahara

Koji Fukada

AKIMATSU NOBUO

ohara yuko

YUKI YAMASHITA

Yabuuchi Misako

Ohtsuki Hideyo

Yoshihiro Kanatani

Ichihara Kentaro

Maaya Miki

Atsushi Watanabe

Shirayama Yuko

Shimizu Shouko

Souya Handa

Yoko Kawamura

Shunsuke Imai

Toshiko Nomura

Tanno Seiko

Tomoki Sakuta

Araki Yu

SHOZI SADAMU

Shimizu Kanae

Kinoshita Reiko

Minouk Lim (Artist, Aichi Triennial 2019)

Mari Fukutome

Yoshizawa Yayoi

Kazuhiko Yoshizaki

Sato Yui

cholilin

kanahara yudai

Yuko Sakakiyama

Rika Nakashima

NARITA Shumei

minako mitsunaga

NAKAMURA KEIICHI

takeyama machiko

Hasegawa Yuki

bottle collective

Fujinuma Teruyoshi

JongYuGyong

HIROKI KOHASHI

Hasegawa Arata

SAIGOH, Akira

Yumiko Endo

TAKAKO SHINODA

KOIZUMI Aya

Miho Laurenson

SAWAKO IMAZU

Ishiguro Noriko

hwayoung kang

Akira Azami

Fukuda Yuko

song yuka

Reiko Yamada

Kawaura Yasuyuki

jun miyagi

Andy

Ko Watari

MIYAGI Harumi

Kanai Kenji

Miran Sakamoto

Atsushi Funahashi

YAMAMOTO KARERA

TAKAGI yukimasa

Chishio Tsukimoto

kinoshita fuminari

Keiko Miyahara

JUNKO KAGAMI

Sunaga Akiko

Aya Masui

Keiko Nishimura

iguchi daisuke

SAKICHI TORII

Kota Sasaki

FURUYAMA KOUZOU

kuwabara taku

kohei takahashi

motoi murabayashi

YUYA ITO

Takashi Takarada

Nagomi IRIE

Sumiko Ohashi

Chiaki Noji

Tamura Takehiko

Yuki Okumura

Rie Imaoka

IGETA MIDORI

Haruna Sato

Seri Takishima

Nagao Nozomi

MIWA KOZAKI

Kunimitsu Moriya

Matsuda Mizuki

Noriyuki Sato

KURIHARA SHIMA

watanabe kota

Maiko Suzuki

Miyajima Toru

Moriyama Chisato

ayaane

Reuben Keehan

Kentaro Ichihara

Edisabel Marrero Tejeda

Anahita Razmi

Theresa Deichert

Nayelli Jacques Pena

William Marotti

Emily Wakeling

Shinobu Akimoto

Machiko Eto

Adrian Favell

Yasuaki YAMAGUCHI

Kyongfa Che

Manami Totsuka

Toshima Takayuki

shimizu yukio

Toshio Watanabe

Aoi Fujiwara

Tsutomu Aihra

AYAKO ISHII

Hiroshi Sunairi

CHIKAYO UEDA

Tatsuo YABE

Kitamura Megumi

seigo aoki

Keiichi nakazawa

Hideki Aoyama

OHIGASHI SAYA

OZAKI, Kyoichi

Fumiko Kobayashi

Hiroko Kato

sekosyuzi

Yamaoka Ryusei

sasakiten

ueno atusi

Ai Ogawa

Toyomi Kidokoro

Chikara HIGA

Nomoto Natsutoshi

Kouhei Shiokawa

Ko Younghwa

Akira Matsumoto

Kato Akiko

KUMAGAI SHUJI

Ohnuma Shoko

minoru inayoshi

nitehiworks

Hirofumi Sakamoto

Ryo Arakaki

NARUSE RIKAKO

ogai hiroko

Osamu Okabe

Kenji YAMADA

tanaka nobumasa

YAMAZAKI MITUNORI

Kawaguchi Tomomi

Shinobu Akimoto

Miku Miyakawa

akio hori

Kenji YAMADA

Towa OKA

yoshida yayoi

Kumiko Isohata

Shakudo Chikako

YUKO ASAKURA

Mannequin Flash Mob ("After the 'Freedom of Expression?'")

Asami Kinoshita

Daisuke AWATA

Kazuha Katayama

emiko kasahara

WATANABE REIKO

Fuyuki Yamakawa

Mutsumi Urano

Ikawa Junko

Kenichi Komura

MAKI SAITO

Naoto Yasuda

Tetsuro Sakurai

Yuko IIDA

Narukawa Tamao

ERIKO SHIBATA

TAKASHI MUTO

Yumiko Ishihara

Chie Sumiyoshi

sakaguchi tomoaki

Rao Araki

Shino Arata

sakata nobuko

Fujita Rin

HISAMI TAKESAWA

Sayuri Shinano

Jun Asano

Nonogaki Mami

Yasunori Matsumoto

AKIKO TSUJIMOTO

Takashi Arai

Reiko Tomii

Soyeong Bak

Víctor Lerma

Daniel Arrhakis 

Tamao Narukawa

Heidi Simons

Keith Whittle

yajimakiko

Tomoko Miyoshi

yoshinonagako

chihiro yamamoto

Haruka Yamamoto

Hiroko Enomoto

Hirofumi Nakamoto

Tange kouki

Miyuki Yoshida

nahoko yokoyama

Shota Tsai Ogawa

Shuta Iizuka

Mai Inaba

Iguchi daisuke

Akiko Komori

Ito Aya

Makiko Nakano

Nakamoto Naoko

YOSHIZAWA Fumitoshi

Keiko Hira

Kim manri

Haruka Shibata

Sei Tatsumi

Utako Shindo

takeuchi aya

Tominaga Goso

gaymakimaki

TAKEKAWA NOBUAKI

Masako Tanaka

Ohno Akira

YO KATAMI

kimiyo Okonogi

Fumiko Oosaki

yui hasegawa

ATS

HAYAO Takanori

Yuichi Higuch

BuBu de la Madeleine

Fumiko Kikuchi

yamadatomomi

Tsuji Kaai

Chihara Koh

Kawaida Masaki

Fusato Seika

tounai saki

Chitose KATAOKA

Yudai Osawa

Kaoru Kumagai

super KIKI

Yui Nagashrma

makiko IWAMOTO

kii tsunome

MIKI SUZUKI

ANDO YUKIHIRO

Odawara Mio

Okuda Kakeru

SHOJI SAORI

Asada Haruka

SUZUKI KOZUE

kushida yasuko

Tezuka Sora

Miki Yuzuru

Akane Ikeda

Chikako Morishita

Tomoko Shimizu

aki kaneko

KAMATA MICHIKO

William Andrews

TOMOKO OHNO

Takagi Seiichi

Yuichi Higuch

UGATA Naoto

zon ito

Ed Carroll & Vita Geluniene

makoto gotoh

Yuri Miauchi

Asuka Miyata

Fukunishi Kazuyo

RyokoAoki

Wataru Koyama

Lucie Vítková

Anuradha Vikram

Clelia Zernik

Yuka Nakao

NISHIMURA SUMIKO

K.I Sound Studio

Sawako Nezu

iwanakamihoko

Isaji Keiko

Akiko Tsutsumi

Chandler Sterling

nishiguchi yoko

IKEMOTO Momo

Chusato Kurokawa

Izuru Mizutani

masuda mina

Ishitani Haruhiro

Ahki Kim

SHINKO IMIG

OYAGI Natsuki

Miyaki Inukai

Tsuchiya Hiroko

Saito Reiji

Kato Katsuhisa

Mifuyu Motoyamasaki

Hosokai Yui

t.ayumi

Goto Misaki

SOICHIRO HIRAMATSU

HAYANO TETSU

Hattori Momoko

Hinako Saito

Momoko Shiraga

Saito Shunki

HIGUCHI, Setsuko

AsamiHaraguchi

BABA NATSUKI

Matsumoto Yoshihiro

MIKA MIZUTANI

NAGAKUA YUKO

Risa Sumizaki

Yasuna Ito

Nakase Aya

Shimizu Sayaka

Osaki Yuuka

Sorachi Tampo

Kusatani Yoshiko

Atsunari Sugano

Nobuyuki Takahashi

Yamaguchi Atsuko

Shimizu yuko

Nakaoka Yuko

isobe tayumi

KOYA ISHIZUKA

ueno fumio

Kim koshin

ODA yoko

Yuko Tamagawa

Yasuaki YAMAGUCHI

Makoto Takeuchi

Kanako Sanada

Ohmatsu naoko

WatanabeHiroshi

Aoki Noe

Shingo Sakai

KEIKO FUJIKAWA

masahisa wakiya

Hiroko Seki Arahari

Marika Niko

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