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Junko Chodos Honored as a Fellow
of the Society for the Arts, Religion, and Contemporary Culture
JUNKO CHODOS, ARTIST has been elected as a Fellow of the Society for the Arts, Religion, and Contemporary Culture. The Society was founded in the 1960s, and many of the leading thinkers and creative talents of the last 50 years have been recognized as Fellows. The list of Fellows includes Erich Fromm and Joseph Campbell, both of whose writings have inspired specific works of Junko's; and it includes many others from whose writings and teachings Junko has learned a great deal. Junko is grateful and honored to join their ranks now.
Gift in Honor of Yehuda Elkana
On the Occasion of His Retirement as President and Rector
Mass Killing No. 1, “This Must Never Happen Again” (2009) by Junko Chodos
Charcoal and Acrylic on Mylar 84”x42” (213.36 x 106.68 cm.)

Gift of the FOUNDATION FOR CENTRIPETAL ART in Honor of Yehuda Elkana

Gnarled burls lie draped over an old engine block. The organic shapes of the burls contrast with the engine’s cold, mechanical structure. We might see the images in this work as a suggestion of dead bodies slaughtered in some grim house of death.

This is the first of a series of works by the artist dealing with mass killings throughout history and all over the world. She was inspired by the words of Yehuda Elkana, written in an article published in Ha’Aretz on March 2, 1998, titled “The Need to Forget:” Two kinds of people emerged from the holocaust: a minority who assert, “This must never happen again,” and a frightened majority who assert, “This must never happen to us again.”

The artist writes:

Every time I read this sentence tears come to my eyes. and I finished this art work with great emotion. To experience some unbearable reality personally is one thing; to absorb it deeply into your own center in order to grasp the meaning of it is another. After that, to try to release it from the personal terrain into the terrain of wider universal significance until the power of transcendence finally comes to you—that is to go even further. These words of Prof. Elkana come from this highest stage, and they resonate with my own pain which I experienced during the war in my childhood in Japan.

And this transcendence—transforming the deepest personal experience into the most universal experience—is the essence of art. This work of mine is not intended to send a political message: it is a song of praise for the courage of those who have reached this transcendence. This is my humble declaration as I try to take one step on the long journey of changing this world into a better place.

From Junko’s Studio Diary, May 2009
Detail from Mass Killing, No. 1
The Engine Block ...
Mass Killing, No. 2
"WHERE IS MY BOY? I can't find my boy!"
See the GALLERY page.
JUNKO and RAFAEL Deliver papers at SARCC Conversation
10/30/09 at Barnard College
The Society for Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture was established in 1961, and for nearly fifty years, has been promoting serious discussion of deep issues central to our contemporary condition. See SARCC.ORG On October 30, 2009, SARCC sponsored a conversation - a short conference - on the impact of technology on art and religion. Both Junko and Rafael were invited to participate, and both of them read papers. The event was hosted at Barnard College; and the topic is going to remain a focus of SARCC over the coming year.
The Opening Scene: Sorcerer Enters His Forest
Set of 3 Animations Now Available!
Based on Junko's FATHOM Series
The Gift Shop now includes a set of three short animations based on Junko's FATHOM series. Her giant mylar panels hung as the backdrops for a dance production which opened at the North Park Theater in San Diego. There were eight scenes, each one a turning-point in Kuukai's life: his two years spent as a sorcerer in the forests of Mt. Kooya, his perilous journey across the sea to Chang'An, at the Eastern End of the Silk Road, his spiritual message of enlightenment, and his final return to Mt. Kooya where he entered an endless meditation. The mylars are ten and twelve feet high, and up to seven of them (foregrounds and backgrounds) hung on the stage at once, creating a majestic, fasicnating space. These short animations by Mike Browne can be downloaded to your iPOD, or viewed on your computer screen.
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