[UNISSOGRAFF™ International Recognition]
The beginning of Unissograff
In March 2011, the world was shocked as the Great East Japan Earthquake caused extreme earthquake and tsunami damage to the Tohoku and Kanto regions of Japan. In the aftermath, a simple education support project set up for children affected by the disaster became the impetus that gave birth to Unissograff.
Moved by the coverage he had seen, artist ca37 travelled to some of the areas in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate that had been devastated by the tsunami, where he arranged art events for local children and encouraged them to draw pictures of their now-desolated but still ‘beloved hometown’. With permission to use what amounted to around 200 pictures as material for creating artwork, he then began creating UNISSOGRAFF art pieces with the aim of helping to support the education and well-being of those children living in the disaster-afflicted areas.
UNISSOGRAFF™ crossing borders
With his experiences in the tsunami-ravaged areas of Japan came the idea that “There are children throughout the world who need support for survival and education”. Realising the potential of collaborative art creation with children, ca37 visited villages in the minefield zones that sit on the borders of Cambodia, and parts of the Republic of Uganda in East Africa, where they tackle the challenging issue of reintroducing former child soldiers back into society, and he began child support projects using art.
Art that transcends borders.
A world connected by UNISSOGRAFF™
With contributions to art contests, fashion designs, and international temples, over the years we have demonstrated that the drawings of children can be a true driving force behind wonderful art.
Born of the aftermath in tsunami-devastated areas, UNISSOGRAFF has gone on to achieve high international acclaim through such accomplishments as being adopted for clothing designs by global fashion brand ISSEY MIYAKE MEN, making the longlist selections of international art competition THE LUMEN PRIZE* (in 2013 and 2014), and receiving an honorary prize at the OASIS 2018 Toledo International Art Exhibition.
Furthermore, in 2019, having received recognition for its aim of working towards the survival and education of children through art, Unissograff was proud to present an 8-frame (double-sided 4 frame) artwork sliding paper door to the Mt Koya Ekoin Temple, a sacred site of the Buddhist Shingon sect that is frequented by famous personalities, business leaders and politicians from around the world.
This artwork, entitled "Shingon Shōmyō Symphony", is a collage created from the drawings of children in conflict-stricken Uganda and Cambodia, the disaster-afflicted areas of East Japan, as well as the children of Mt Koya itself, which were all based upon the themes of “Peace”, “Hometown” and “Future”. A large undertaking, it depicts the form of the Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana) Buddha. Appropriately, it emits the strong desire for world-wide peace from this Buddhist holy place.
[Donations generated by Asian and African artwork]
Unissograff generates funding to support the education and well-being of children in the minefield villages of Cambodia, and the social rehabilitation of young people who were engaged as child soldiers in the civil conflicts of Uganda.
Currently all donations are made to Terra Renaissance, an officially certified NPO organisation based in Kyoto which stations its people on the ground in the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Uganda to actively support the people of these aforementioned areas.
This way we know that our donations are 100% used for the purpose with which they were intended, supporting the areas they were intended for.
↓Find out more about UN recognised NGO and certified NPO Terra Renaissance↓
Certified NPO Terra Renaissance was established in October 2001 with the aim of "realizing a society (world peace) where all lives can be safely lived".
They aim to address the four issues of "land mines", "small weapons", "child soldiers", and "peace education" by simultaneously operating international cooperation at sites around the world while conducting enlightenment and proposal activities in Japan.
Official website*: https://www.terra-r.jp/index.html
(*Please note this site is currently Japanese language only)
* If you would like to know more about Terra Rennaissance, or anything else on this site, please feel free to get in touch with us.
[Donation Support for the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami]
1. NPO Baby Smile Ishinomaki, who jointly managed Rakugaki Art workshops with Unisograff in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture.
2. NPO Hanamiyama Conservation Society, in Fukushima prefecture, which through its efforts to protect the Satoyama region around Mt Hanamiyama, renowned in the world of flower arranging, supports children’s hometown education in the area.
http://hanamiyama8141.web.fc2.com/ (Please note this site is Japanese language only)
*The LUMEN PRIZE celebrates the very best art created with technology through a global competition. Since it's launch in 2012, it has given away more than US$80,000 in prize money and created opportunities worldwide for the artists who have been longlisted, shortlisted or won Lumen Awards.
Lumen is run by Lumen Art Projects, a not-for-profit based in Wales, UK which curates exhibitions, commissions and events for art venues, cultural institutions and public spaces globally in partnership with its community of Lumen artists.
Read more here.