February 2022 Message from the Executive Director

The Sainsbury Institute treasures our relationship with our main strategic partners, the University of East Anglia, the British Museum and SOAS, University of London. We are delighted to be reconfirming our links with SOAS with the advertisement of a new Sainsbury Lectureship in Japanese Arts at SOAS, supported by the Sainsbury Institute, an appointment which we hope will herald a new phase of cooperation and collaborative working. In the autumn, we welcomed Professor Adam Habib, the new Principal and Director of SOAS, to the first in-person meeting of the Sainsbury Institute Board since the start of the pandemic, where our proposals for renewing these links were met with unanimous approval. […]

Curating from the contaminated zone: An introduction to Don’t Follow the Wind

Excerpt from the Introduction to Don’t Follow the Wind, edited by Nikolaus Hirsch and Jason Waite, published by Sternberg Press, distributed by The MIT Press, 2021 What can art do in an ongoing catastrophe, when destruction and contamination have made living impossible? Don’t Follow the Wind is an ongoing exhibition project that has sought, since 2012, to answer precisely that question. The project is located inside the Fukushima exclusion zone, the evacuated area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which was established after the 2011 nuclear disaster that contaminated the area and separated residents from their homes, land, and community. The collaboratively developed project is a long-term engagement by […]

Report on the talk “Leiko Ikemura: Beyond Wonderland”

In a continuation of the social distancing precautions that were implemented at the end of last year, the first Third Thursday Lecture of 2022 was held online, welcoming celebrated Japanese-Swiss contemporary artist Leiko Ikemura. Hosted by the Sainsbury Institute’s Professor Simon Kaner, this month’s talk invited the artist to discuss her career, inspirations and the upcoming book, Leiko Ikemura: Usagi in Wonderland, which is being produced in conjunction with the Sainsbury Centre. This book will expand on her exhibition of the same name that was displayed at the Sainsbury Centre between July 18th and December 12th, 2021. This month’s lecture also invited three special guests to discuss their own thoughts […]