Exhibition: Masking/Unmasking Death

From May 1, 2022, we will present “Masking/Unmasking Death,” a Tokyo Geidai AAI Special Exhibition.
Since the military coup in February 2021, Myanmarese artist Kamizu has been creating ‘masks’ portraying the faces of killed citizens. In current-day Myanmar, masks may be regarded as an icon of life, maintaining people’s anonymity and protecting them from viruses.
The exhibition is the world premiere of this project by Kamizu, who continues practicing art by concealing her identity with a mask for safety. Curated by Haruka Iharada, researcher of Asian arts and cultural practices, we shed light on post-coup Myanmar and look at the future artistic solidarity may bring.

Curator message

To Overcome Despair

The coup in distant Myanmar evoked a sense of devastation and despair in me. Tyrannical, unlawful violence never ceased in the face of people simply demanding freedom and a future. Those who speak out endure and survive in fear of their lives, at times dispossessed of everything. Voices of resistance persist. Or, in silence, wills find their way to be communicated. Information keeps spreading, calling for its dissemination. To perceive and overcome the restlessly occurring despair and to resist injustice in society – what the arts and expressions, alongside people witnessing this despair, can and should do, is to continue creating and sustaining the cultural chain for hope.

Haruka Iharada (Curator)

Event Details

Dates: Sunday, May 1 to Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Open all days.
Venue: Chinretsukan Gallery, The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts
Entrance: Free
Organizers: Graduate School of Global Arts (GA), Tokyo University of the Arts Yoshitaka Mori Lab, Tokyo University of the Arts Global Support Center – Tokyo Geidai Asia Art Initiative (AAI), UPN, Ltd.
Supported by: Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Kao Foundation for Arts and Culture

Curator: Haruka Iharada
Artist: Kamizu
Project cooperation: TERASIA

Producers: Yukari Sakata, Maho Watanabe
Informational materials, photographs, and artwork provision: Bullet Holes Country (Yuki Kitazumi, Aung Tun Lin)
Installment: Koji Kato, Jun Kawada, Tomohiro Terada, Makoto Shimura, Nina Bogushevskaya
Artwork production (Tree): Shuichi Hayashi, Tetsujiro Kawauchi
Public relations: Mikiko Endo
Translation: Tin Tin Htun, Yui Kajita, Catherine Harrington, Maho Watanabe
Venue management: Saori Azuma, Hiroto Suzuki, INHO
Logo, flyer and poster design: Nayuko Nakamoto
Documentary photography: Ryohei Tomita

*This exhibition is part of the Tokyo Geidai Asia Art Initiative (AAI). AAI and GA Yoshitaka Mori Lab will also present the exhibition "The Arts of Dissent : Art and Democracy" at the venue.
**COVID-19 infection prevention measures will be observed in this exhibition. Therefore, we kindly request visitors to wear face masks, check their temperature and disinfect their hands. In addition, we may ask visitors to wait upon entrance to prevent congestion in the gallery.

Related events

During the exhibition, we will hold the following events by the artist, curator, and other speakers.

Workshops by Kamizu

The artist Kamizu, a practicing art therapist, will appear in the exhibition space through the internet to conduct dialogue with participants.

Dates: 5/1 (Sun), 5/5 (Thu), 5/10 (Tue), from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Venue: Chinretsukan Gallery, The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts
Facilitator: Kamizu (Artist)
Fee: Free
Languages: Burmese with no interpretation on 5/1, English with Japanese interpretation on 5/5 and 5/10.
How to participate: Pre-registration required; up to 15 participants in each session.

*Registration is closed.


To further understand the current situation in Myanmar since the coup, Yoshihiro Nakanishi, a researcher of Myanmar politics, Miru Shinoda, a musician engaging in political and social issues, and Haruka Iharada, curator of the exhibition, discuss the potential and significance of cultural practices born in the anti-coup resistance and pro-democracy movements.

Date: 5/6 (Fri) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Speakers: Yoshihiro Nakanishi (Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University), Miru Shinoda (musician), Haruka Iharada (doctoral student, Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts)
Fee: Free
Language: Japanese only
How to participate: Pre-registration required.

*This symposium has ended.