dear Me is a collaborative project between the non profit organization Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT] and The Nippon Foundation, which focuses on play and learning through art, with the goal of creating a society where all children are encouraged to build their hopes and dreams.
Directed towards children in various living situations, including those in children’s homes, dear Me aims to convey an expansive view of the world by bringing out the power of imagination and self-expression within each child through art, enriching their learning experience and enhancing their emotional connection to the world. In art, there are no fixed answers, and by freely embracing one’s own thoughts and discoveries, doors can open to new worlds. Encountering what is unknown or incomprehensible and expressing their ideas about the experience can plant seeds in children’s imaginations, bringing small changes to their perspectives and holding the potential to expand their world. In addition, dear Me aims to inspire artists through their interaction with children, and create a platform where adults and children can expand their creativity while collaborating together.
Through various means, the project will create a platform where children, artists, experts, supporters and people from different fields can gather and learn together, revealing hints for the creation of a better society for everyone including children and people facing difficulties. Directed towards those who wish to explore the potential of art and those who wish create a better society together with children, the project aims to consider the future for children, welfare, and art.
What seemed like something happening in a faraway land was actually happening very close at hand.
In this world we live in, we frequently run into situations like this.
The world and most of what happens in it are more or less interconnected, and if we lose our balance, the surroundings will become distorted ? this is how our lives are made up.
Today, there are many people facing all kinds of ‘challenges’ in their lives.
Things that are ‘taken for granted’ by many are missing for them.
Quite often, the voices of those people are deeply hidden and not heard - but it could be the person next door to you, your friend or your family that is faced with these difficulties.
Sometimes, art lets us imagine an unseen future or unknown world.
What is ‘taken for granted’ here may not be the same elsewhere, and artists have always searched for new ways of thinking by recreating or breaking ‘what is taken for granted’.
To expand our imaginations and care more about others ‘as though caring about ourselves’ may be the first step to making this world a more comfortable place for everyone.
Upon hearing the word ‘art’, some may think of it as being difficult and incomprehensible - but there are no fixed ‘answers’ in art.
Art is like opening a door to an unknown world by being open to your thoughts and discoveries, while exploring the minds of art creators.
Children can expand their world through encounters with the ‘unknown’ or ‘incomprehensible’ and discussing them, which then becomes the seeds of imagination, bringing small changes to how they view the world.
‘dear Me’ is a learning project for those that wish to explore the possibilities of art and are looking to create a better society with children.
Art and expression can sometimes change difficult situations.
For example, there is an approach at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, in which Alzheimer patients and their families visit the museum together to talk about what they discovered from art pieces in front of them.
By thinking together about stories, shapes, and colors that can be interpreted from art pieces, they can exchange their thoughts, creating new kinds of relationship, transcending the boundaries between ‘those giving care and those receiving care’, with art pieces presenting unlimited meanings.
Art can sometimes become a device to break down all kinds of boundaries - this enables us to learn how others view the world.
Perhaps there is significance in art being alongside the people in areas where, for some reason, there are fewer opportunities to experience art and expression.
‘Me’ as a child.
‘Me’ in the future.
The private ‘Me’.
The public ‘Me’.
In whichever state, you are a unique ‘Me’ in that moment.
Accept your divergent thoughts, take a deep breath, and try to become conscious of ‘yourself’ - the ‘Me’.
Even among siblings, depending on their birthplace, environment and experiences,
each person will have a different set of values - no one is the same.
Acknowledge that everyone is different, learn the differences between us, discover our likes and dislikes, and keep your ears open to your own voice.
If you expand your imagination from there, it may lead to lending your ears to others: to someone far away or someone you have never met, or to someone close to you that you thought you knew.