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“Connect Connect Puzzle” Art Installation Opens at Boston Children’s Museum

March 13, 2019
Created by the Art Thinking Project at Tohoku University of Art & Design in Japan, the Exhibit Challenges the Viewer to Find Hidden Clues and Messages Connecting Each Piece
Boston Children’s Museum recently opened Connect Connect Puzzle, an exhibit that challenges the viewer to find hidden clues and messages connecting each piece of art. The artists participating in this gallery show are the students at Tohoku University of Art & Design (TUAD).

As in much of the world, the social lives of young people in Japan often depend on social media, cell phones, and other digital tools. The Tohoku University of Art & Design students took on the challenge to address digitized communication by creating this art project to compel them to engage in face-to-face communication (Connect). The exhibit challenges Museum visitors to find hidden elements that connect the artwork (Connect). Then, viewers can put the pieces together (Puzzle) to follow the adventure of the unique characters, the Kyukon (kyuu-kon-n), plant bulb-shaped creatures that represent hope and growth.

“Being an old house, the Japanese House exhibit often overly highlights the traditional side of the culture and customs,” said Akemi Chayama, the Museum’s Japan Program Manager. “This project brings the contemporary and authentic narratives of today’s Japanese youth, and we are very grateful to them for sharing their story through artwork.”

This exhibition is the seventh annual international friendship project by the Art Thinking Project of TUAD. In this gallery exhibition, located next to the Museum’s Japanese House exhibit - an authentic 100-year old house from Kyoto, Japan, the artworks share ideas of today’s multifaceted youth culture of Japan and demonstrates each individual’s thoughts and narratives.

The Art Thinking project (芸術思考) is concept research that aims to make the arts a fundamental tool in daily life practice, as well as non-art discipline learning in Japan. The project leader, Ms. Minatsu Ariga, and her team of students demonstrate this by developing the exhibit and program that creates a space for community building, both local and international. Tohoku in Japan is the region which experienced the disasters of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in March 11, 2011. This collaborative project started in 2012 and has become the annual art gallery show and program at the Museum every March.

Special thanks to Ms. Minatsu Ariga and her Art Thinking/Art in Life team as well as the student artists!

The art installation is scheduled to run through Sunday, September 29.

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About Boston Children's Museum
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The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Fridays until 9:00 p.m. Adults, $17, children (1-15) and senior citizens, $17; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free. Fridays 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., all visitors $1.

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