This work originated from a school assignment at Fukushima Prefectural Soma High School, which is located in the same city as my atelier. For the assignment, over 50 high school students drew self-portraits of just their eyes, to go with essays recalling their childhood memories of the disaster, how they view things today, and their outlook for the future. (Here, the essays are displayed without the self-portraits.)
I stumbled upon the students’ work at a public exhibition in 2020. Although the essays may have followed a standard pattern taught at their school, the way these texts concluded with hope for the future left a lasting impression. I felt deep sympathy toward the words of these teenagers, who had experienced such a disaster as nobody has before and who are striving to overcome their hardships, so I requested permission to exhibit their work in this exhibition.