Breathing Atolls, the Japan-Maldives Contemporary Art Exhibition

Maldives Promotion House – The National Centre for the Arts and The Japan Foundation has held a full-scale contemporary art exhibition in the Maldives. The one of a kind exhibition was named ‘Breathing Atolls: Japan-Maldives Contemporary Art Exhibition’.

This exhibition celebrates the 45th anniversary of the relationship between Japan and the Maldives. Inspired by the unique archipelago of the Maldives it portrays the chains of geographically and culturally distinctive islands at risk of being submerged due to rising sea levels.

The exhibition is also an expression of concern regarding climate change and environmental issues determining the fate of small island nations, using contemporary art practices to relay that concern both locally and globally.

While the Maldives is still blossoming to the contemporary art scene, thanks to the efforts of many, this exhibition celebrates the first wide-scale foray into the world of contemporary art both at a national and an international level.

The artists who participated in the exhibition includes, Terunobu Fujimori, Fujiko Nakaya, Haruka Kojin, Tetsuro Kano, Yukihiro Taguchi, Yodogawa-Technique, Afu (Afzal Shaafiu Hasan) and Ali Nishan (Millzero).

The Japanese Artists conducted on-site research in the Maldives prior to exhibition and wholly observed geographical and cultural environment peculiar to the Maldives. They also surveyed the people’s lifestyles through exchange with local people. The exhibition also provided Maldivian Artists the opportunity to exhibit and introduce themselves to the contemporary art scene in Japan.

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