Photo: Ooki Jingu, Kazuhiro Kodaira
SPREAD held the exhibition "SPREAD by SPREAD: What Color is Tomorrow?" at the SPIRAL cultural complex in Aoyama, Tokyo. In response to the coronavirus pandemic that changed society dramatically, SPREAD proposed that 'Color is Joy'. The event was planned to be held in spring 2021, but was postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus, and was held in autumn 2021.
One day near the end of 2020, we were at the printers watching them prepare our New Year’s card. As we watched the letterpress apply color to each card, one by one, the flow of time seemed too slow, and our thoughts carried us away.
Looking back, 2020 may have been one of the hardest years we’ve experienced. There was never any hope that Japan could have held the Olympics or Paralympics. Now, one year later, we’re still caught up in a tangle of problems with no end in sight. It’s no exaggeration to say that we are experiencing the change of an era.
We can’t do so many of the things that we previously took for granted, and all we can do to get through the present—is wait. It seems as though this thought has covered the world in a dark, heavy shroud. That in itself is unsurprising. But what’s really frightening is the thought of being unconsciously sucked into that current. If you don’t fight back, it will swallow you up.
That day, the quiet sunlight and the vivid colors of the printing ink made us suddenly aware of what we needed to do: “Let’s make a new art piece. We want to use color to brighten up the gloomy atmosphere enshrouding the world (and us).”
This thought became the starting point for this exhibit. Our medium is color. Our goal is to have people experience the creativity that spreads from the memory of color. Just as the color of the letterpress inspired us, color has the power to stimulate the senses and emotions. Something wells up within the heart. That something drives thought and expands the world.
By facing society and engaging in the act of creation, we have sought to change the present and create new experiences. Through experiences, we have aimed to foster imagination in society. Imagination has the power to save people in every circumstance. When we feel like we’re being pulled into some dark and heavy current, imagination can transport us to a better place. We are always trying to pull that trigger.
We invite you to view this exhibition as you might gaze at a landscape—at flora and fauna. You are free to interpret it as you wish. People are different. Our births and our lives are all different. That difference is beautiful; we have the imagination to understand each other. And yet, when we see colors, there is a joy that wells up within each and every one of us.
What color is tomorrow? Wishing every individual much peace, love, and joy.
Haruna Yamada, Hirokazu Kobayashi / SPREAD
Dates: Wednesday 27 October–Sunday 7 November, 2021 / Venue: Spiral Garden / Planning Cooperation: Spiral / Venue Cooperation: Wacoal Art Center / Construction Cooperation: Waki Process Inc. / PR: Daily Press / Special Thanks: Uttzs / Takeo Co., Ltd. / Toyokasei Co., Ltd. / Mgnet Co., Ltd. / Live Art Books Inc. / Print + Plant / Sponsors: NBC Meshtec inc., crowdfunding sponsors / Support: Nagaoka Institute of Design
*Part of the funds for the production and organization of this solo exhibition were attained through the crowdfunding platform Green Funding. More