Sun Child / サン・チャイルド (2011)

Sun Child

The Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami led to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the area around Fukushima Prefecture has been heavily exposed to and contaminated by nuclear fallout from the nuclear power plant. In the previous year, Yanobe had an exhibition MYTHOS (2010), with the motiefs of radiation and great flood. The exhibition unexpectedly had predicted the disaster in the next year. Yanobe had a sense of helplessness facing with the disaster. Even though he had repeateldly alarmed on the danger of nuclear power through his works, he could do nothing for preventing the disaster.
Soon after the earthquake, he posted a message entitled as “People Who Stand Up” on the weblog of ULTRA FACTORY and he wrote about why the power of art is needed now. And then, he installed Giant Torayan, which is 7.2m in height, in the campus of Kyoto University of Art and Design.
Yanobe had a great shock from the earthquake and the accidents. From the experience of visiting Cherobyl in 1997, he was quite knowledgable about the aftermath of nuclear accidents. His children was also shocked from the news about the accidents, and seemed to be drepressed and lost their hope for future. Yanobe decided to make actions to support people suffering from the disaster and he tried to use all his knowledge, experience, technique and personal relationship.
He visited the disaster stricken areas such as Iwate Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture and reread research materials on antioxidant to prevent internal exposure to radiation. He proposed and negotiated with the manufacturers of Geiger Counter to make and provide products which are reasonable in price and easy to use for children but his proposals weren’ t realized.
Yanobe focused on the biggest problem, nuclear decontamination. He had several meetings at ULTRA FACTORY and launched Survival Revival Laboratory (S. R. L.) with Yuji Dogane, an artist and a biologist, Osamu Kokufu, an artst who makes huge sculpture based on vehicles, and a group of interested students. They started to develop a device which has an actual function for nuclear decontamination.

3.11 後すぐに京都造形芸術大学ウルトラファクトリーのブログに「立ち上がる人々」という声明を出し芸術の力の必要性を説いた。そして、その象徴的な行為として全長7.2mの《ジャイアント・トらやん》を大学構内に立ち上げた。

Sun Child Sun Child

The message of “ People Who Stand Up” was embodied in Sun Child, a work he made with a wish for the restoration from the nuclear desaster. Sun Child is a huge sculpture, which measures 6.2m in height. It wears a radiation protective equipment and hold a helmet in its left arm. It has a geiger counter on its chest but it shows number 0. Sun Child has a scar on its face but its eyes are looking up the sky. These features imply sufferings and overcoming and Yanobe put his wish that a time would come when radiation protective equipments are not needed any more in the future. Sun Child hold “a little sun” in its right hand and it symbolizes a hope for the future. In reality, nuclear contamination is still ongoing, but Sun Child envisions the time in future when nuclear decontamination is finished and nuclear power is not needed anymore.


Sun ChildSun Child

Sun Child is also an homage to David (Michelangelo) (1501–1504), a masterpiece of the Renaissance sculpture, modeled on the young David, the future king of Israel, who defeated Philistine giant Goliath by throwing a stone from his sling. Sun Child, 6.2m in height, was planned to be installed outdoor and designed to stand by itself. It was modeled with styrofoam and made with FRP resin and then paintcoated. It was his first time to use FRP resin and paintcoats as materials for his work.


Sun Child

For the first time, Sun Child was installed at Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park to show that it inherits a message from Tower of the Sun by Taro Okamoto. The design of “ small sun” is taken from the works based on the theme of “The Sun” by Taro Okamoto. Installing Sun Child there was to show “ a hope for the future” at the former site of EXPO ‘70, the place was a starting point of “ ruin of the future”.


Sun Child Sun Child
Sun Child

Sun Child travelled to Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum in Tokyo and travelled around. Yanobe and ULTRA FACTORY made other two bodies of Sun Child with different designs of “ little sun”. One of them (No.3) was permanently installed in front of Minamiibaraki Station, close to Yanobe’ s home town and Expo’70 Commemorative Park. Sun Child (No.2) travelled to Osaka Prefectural Government Sakishima Building, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia) and Haifa Museum of Art (Israel). Sun Child (No.1) was exhibited at Daigo Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall in Tokyo and Fukushima Airport for Contemporary Art Biennale of Fukushima 2012. Sun Child is still travelling around and the project will continue until “ hope of future” would come true.

その後、岡本太郎記念館において展示され各地に巡回展示されることになる。さらに、「小さな太陽」のデザインの異なる2 体が追加され、1 体(No.3)は3.11の1 年後にヤノベの故郷であり、万博記念公園に近い南茨木駅前に恒久設置された。もう1 体(No.2)は大阪府咲洲庁舎、モスクワ近代美術館(ロシア)、ハイファ美術館(イスラエル)を巡回し、最初の1 体(No.1)は都立第五福竜丸展示館で展示された後、「福島現代美術ビエンナーレ2012」において福島空港に展示された。《サン・チャイルド》は現在でも各地を巡回しており、プロジェクトは「未来の希望」が実現するまで継続される。

Sun Child