From October 6, 2018, to January 20, 2019, the exhibition Catastrophe and the Power of Art was on view at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. The exhibition, curated by Kondo Kenichi, was notable for the choice of topic and the display of relevant pieces created by international artists. Moreover, it coincided with the fifteenth anniversary of the museum. Museum director Nanjo Fumio explained that while the tenth anniversary was dedicated to universal themes such as “happiness” and “love,” catastrophe became central for the fifteenth anniversary “given the disasters and tragedies that seem to be a constant presence today.”1 

The showcased works were thoughtful in so many ways that my...

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