Positive Energies - A Photo Exhibition
In May 2018, In London we held a Photo Exhibition titled “Positive Energies” underthe theme of the people with Down Syndrome. By capturing the children with disabilities in their joyful state and positive energy via pictures, I think that this photo exhibition was able to give hope to exhibition visitors. The U.K. is deeply conscious of peaple with disabilities, so based on the evaluation obtained in the UK, I am aiming to hold a photo exhibition in Japan.
Contents of the Photo Exhibition
"Positive Energies "
Fumio Nabata, Richard Bailey, Fiona Yaron-Field, those three photographers has held a Photo Exhibition titled “Positive Energies” under the theme of the people with Down Syndrome. Nabata has displayed the positive children’s photos which was taken around the world.
Bailey has exhibited the photos of the grown up people with Down Syndrome who work in various fields as professionals. Fiona has exhibited portraits of expecting mothers whose babies are diagnosed that they would have Down Syndrome and also made up their mind to bring them into the world. We three depicted the life of the people with Down Syndrome by pregnancy, childhood, and grown-ups.
The purpose of this project has been based upon the purpose of the UNCRPD: Convention on the Rights of the People with Disabilities, especially focused upon the purpose on Section8: “To raise awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with disabilities, and to foster respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities;” and I also create a composition to give positive information through our works for the mothers and families whose babies are diagnosed that they would have disabilities when they make a choice on their new lives.
Achievements of the Project
Over the duration of the 6days of the exhibition, we had about 800 visitors. The composition to present the lives of the people with Down Syndrome, we could receive many feedback from the visitors like;”What inspiring and poetic pictures of beautiful humans”, “It’s the first time I cried at an exhibition”, “The photos are full of happiness and I believe that’s why he’s called the exhibition “Positive Energies” but it really is full of positive energy”, or very much inspired, and so on.
One of the most impressive feedback we had is the one from an expecting lady who is waiting for the result of her prenatal diagnosis test. She said “I’ve already made up my mind to give birth to my baby, whatever the result would be. However, encountering those photos here in this gallery, completely convinced me that my choice has never been wrong.”
With her comments, I thought I could achieve one of my goals to give positive information through our photo exhibition for the expecting mothers and families who are somehow distressed from receiving the prenatal diagnosis tests.
Besides, in Japan, in connection with the opening of the London Photo Exhibition, it had already drawn attention and had broadcasted through news report on Japanese TV media as a special report, and 4-major Japanese newspapers had put up special feature articles.
In London, a reporter from Japanese News Agency visited our venue, for reporting, and would deliver through their network.
Our Future Plan
We would like to hold the Second Photo Exhibition to be held as one of the supporting programs for 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic games, based on the success in UK.
By holding this Photo Exhibition which has drawn the people in UK, at the time of this great event, when the awareness for the people with disabilities will be increasing among the people in Japan, will definitely can contribute the social awareness of the Japanese people in the most probable way.
During my stay in London, for this project, I could see many times that the people in UK helping the people with disabilities when they meet them in the city. I’m afraid that the awareness of the people in Japan are not as high as the one in UK. Also, I could rarely see those pictures like expecting mothers who made up their mind to give birth to their babies who have Down Syndrome, and those pictures which depict the working people with Down Syndrome independently in the society. Those pictures are uniquely created in the UK which has an atmosphere advanced in social awareness, I think. And If I could present this photo exhibition in which my photos of the children with Down Syndrome around the world as a Japanese photographer, it can contribute draw a lot of attentions of the people in Japan.
“Positive Energies” A Photographic Exhibition in London
Fumio Nabata Richard Bailey Fiona Yaron-Fieald
16th to 21st May 2018 Oxo Gallery
Projected Venue & Date
Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
It is scheduled to be held from 16th to 21st May 2018
Embassy of Japan in the UK The Japan Society in the UK
Japan Down Syndrome Society Down's Syndrome Association (UK)
Myanmar Down Syndrome Association Down Syndrome South Africa
Smart Inclusion Innovation Consortium
NPO Osaka US Club
●Symposium hosted by Japan Society (London)
Positive Energies: Social inclusion of children with disabilities.A talk with parents, teachers and photographers.
The event on 17 May 2018, 6.30 pm, at the Swedenborg Society, will include speakers from a range of backgrounds and will provide an opportunity to explore attitudes and perspectives on Down’s and other children with disability, in Japan and the UK.
●The Panel Discussions hosted by Osaka US Club (Osaka)
Exhibition Visitors Feedback
What inspiring and poetic pictures of beautiful humans.
Moving and original photographs. Those photographed are absolutely beautifully captured!
Quality space filled with an essential topic/debate… Perfect (or is it/are we?)
Beautiful photographs. In the states I have worked with children and adults who have Down Syndrome. What a beautiful exhibit to come upon here!
It's the first time I cried at an exhibition. (A gentleman in his 20's)
Moving and original photographs.Those photographed are absolutely beautifully captured!
I saw the panel saying “Positive Energies” and it was about disabilities so I had to go in. The photos are full of energy and joy. (A lady on a wheelchair in her 60's)
I was really surprised that he went to Myanmar as it has so many problems. It was nice to see thatchildren with Down’s syndrome are given opportunities there. The photos are full of happiness and I believe that’s why he’s called the exhibition “Positive Energies” but it really is full of positive energy. (A lady in her 70's)
I felt the power of photographic representation. You usually see images of depressing and sad nature around disabilities but in these photos, there is positivity and warmth. I liked the scale of the photographs and how he’s presented the photographs unframed. It removes the distance from the viewer and gives intimacy to the subjects. It was also nice to read and see how he has worked on his project. I could see that he is willing to share the process whereas some other photographers tend to keep it to themselves.（A gentleman in his 40's）
I empathized with what Fumio’s written, “the part he said he only felt sorry for people with Down’s syndrome at first and then realized what joy they have.” People with Down’s syndrome express their feelings with honesty without filter. That’s why you can feel their happiness coming through directly. (A lady in her 40's)
I had been told that I have 20% chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome and I am currently waiting for the results of the blood test. Although I was pretty sure that Iwould have my child no matter what, coming across this exhibition by chance felt like a sign to me that my thinking was not wrong. (Expecting lady in her 20's)
Introduction by media
TV News Program
"JDS news" Jul, 2018 issue of the Japan Down Syndrome Association. "Suport" Jun, 2017 issue of Japanese Association on Intellectual Disability "JDS news" Dec, 2017 issue of the Japan Down Syndrome Association. "JDS news" Jun, 2017 issue of the Japan Down Syndrome Association."Journal" issue Fall Winter 2018 of the Down Syndrome Association (UK)
Achievements to date
Photo Shooting in U.K (Bath in 2014)Photo Shooting in Japan (Osaka in 2016)I visited Myanmar Down Syindrome Society (Yangon in Sep, 2016) Photo Shooting in Myanmar (Yangon in 2016)I visited Down Syndrome South Africa (Pretoria in Sep, 2017)Photo Shooting in SouthAfrica (Pretoria in 2017)I had a meeting with Richard Bailey (left) Mr. Fiona Yaron-Field (middle) who collaborates. (London in Sep 2017)I reserved the Gallery@OXO (London in Sep 2017 )OXO Tower with Gallery