Future Shock

Exhibition Dates: April 6 - 27, 2009

About the Exhibit
Future Shock is part of an international exchange exhibition of sculpture by students at the College of William and Mary and students at Musashino University in Tokyo, Japan.

Referencing the continuing consequences of the first internationally recognized mercury spill that poisoned Minamata Bay in Japan in 1932, this exchange exhibition reminds us that solving problems of mercury poisoning is a global issue that can only be addressed through international dialogue.

This provocative installation Future Shock, created by Musashino University art students Kenichi Miyazawa and Jun Sugiyama speaks directly to the impact one culture may have on another. Since the mercury spill that poisoned Minamata Bay came to world attention through the compelling photographs of American photojournalist Eugene Smith, seafood consumption in Japan has been in decline. McDonalds, a symbol of American culture has led to an increase in the intake of animal meats heightening dietary problems in Japan.

The installation here in the Andrews Gallery shows partial figures, formed from a variety of materials that will never decompose. They move along a circular track in an endless cycle. Mr. Miyazawa and Mr. Suguyama are warning us that if we do not work together then this cycle will continue to perpetuate itself.

Can an image be more powerful than words—at times, yes. Art has the ability to cross language barriers; it is its own language. Often it leaves us within the space of our own mind, to ruminate to mull over to contemplate. In this moment of gestation and contemplation an idea, a response, an opinion may form, a spark ignites and a new conversation begins. It is only when the dialogue ensues that we have any hope of finding solutions to the problems that belong to us all.

The sculptures by William and Mary students, Margaret Mays, Andrew Paulette, John Knapp, Kristen Smith, Blake Lucas, Kiernan Lofland and Ashley Pierce created in spring term 2008 in Art 420 Sculpture in the Global Environment: Heavy Metal and the Delta Blues are now on exhibition at Musashino University, Tokyo, Japan.

This exhibition is a component of the Mercury s-GIG and funded through the generosity of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, the Roy R. Charles Center, the Asian Studies Initiative funded by the Freeman Foundation, and the School of Arts and Sciences at the College of William and Mary. Special thanks to, Brian Kreydatus, Francis Tanglao-Aguas, Rachel DiNitto, and Kim Phillips.