The Folded Sun

Last month, a friend of mine from the U.S. gave me a signed print he bought from a Swiss communication graphic designer to help raise money for disaster victims in Japan. I have it next to me, propped up on my desk to remind me of the many people and artists who have been part of the recovery here in Japan. The work is called "folded sun" by Remo Caminada. "When designing the poster, I had the idea to create a super sign, which, in connection with the disaster of 11 March 2011 in Japan, is supposed to encourage people to give thought to the natural power of the earth and its implications," writes Caminada.

The vermillion sun disc is damaged. The folded part, a slighter darker red than the rest, seems to cast a shadow on the disc. The design also symbolizes hope. The missing part of the circle is indeed folded away, but it is not missing. The original state might be restored even if the scar remains.

The folded part is a simple image of the tsunami rolling in the same direction as the wave hit northeast Japan, but it is also a direct reference to the most famous Japanese print of all time created almost 200 years before by Katsushika Hokusai. "The Great Wave of Kanagawa" also known as "The Great Wave" represents man's struggle against nature to survive. The boats are built for speed to transport live fish as quickly as possible from surrounding coastline to the fish markets in Tokyo. Mt. Fuji can be seen in the distance.

The folded part in the design also represents a boat. If you superimpose the two images on top of each other, the folded section of the disc exactly fits the negative space created by the wave in Hokusai's print. The Japanese people will ride out this wave as they have many beforehand. They are a strong and enduring people.

Everybody, thank you for your help for the people of Japan!