The Arts and Asia Awards celebrate the important role Australian artists and arts organisations play in enhancing Australia’s relationship with Asia. I was nominated for the community relations category due to the nature of the work I undertook at part of the Kizuna project run by JICE and the AFS. I was able to develop a body of work showcasing life in japan after the devastating 2011 tsunami that vastly affected life in Japan. In particular, the North East areas of the island of Honshu. I used this body of work to develop a book showcasing the program of which 3 copies have been published for the AFS Intercultural Programs Australia who ran the program.
Being employed as a Japanese teacher in South Australian primary schools, I have a direct link to the community through it’s children. As such I utilised my photography project developed through the program to develop units of work and discuss the cultural impact of the disaster on the Japanese people. We sent letters to a school in Japan exchanging stories and personal ideas, while viewing the photographs I developed and learning about how Japan as a country; and the Japanese people as individuals reacted to the event. My photography has been displayed around the schools and local community coupled with written and spoken anecdotes explaining what I learnt of life in Japan after the 2011 disaster. In Japanese class, we also learnt what a tsunami is and looked in detail what life is like in Japan, both in the tsunami affected areas and other areas. I have also showcased my photography both in online galleries such as National Geographic and print media through the AIPP, through which individual photographs and garnered industry awards.
Kizuna program photography
“The Youth-Exchange Project with Asia-Oceania and North America (Kizuna (bond) Project)” is a project run by the Japanese government with the objective of promoting other countries’ understanding with regards to Japan’s revival efforts in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. The project invites young people from 41 different countries/regions in Asia-Oceania and North America, allowing them to participate in exchange programs, visit disaster-affected areas and engage in volunteer activities. It also involves sending young people from Japan to target countries/regions. Over 12,000 people are to become part of the exchange through this project.
I lived in Japan from 2006-2008, where I developed my passion for photography, in particular Japanese photography. My landscape Japanese photography provided me with the first success I needed in Australia to really develop my skills which I now utilise in my award winning wedding photography services. Much of my Japanese photography were developed into award winning images in both State, national and Internationally-based institutions. As such I was very happy to participate as a teacher chaperone with the Kizuna project to help Australian students better understand the plight of the Japanese people due to the 2011 tsunami and hopefully further spread awareness through my own Japanese photography and teaching talents.