Giving Gallery Report from the Disaster Area:October 26, 2014
Community Space “Light House”
Facility Improvement Support for Cultural Restoration

Ofunato City was completely destroyed by the Tsunami. Since then, there’s no cultural community space where local young people can get together.
So, a volunteer group and the local youth have created “Light House” with their own hands by renting an empty shop, as a space for art and education in April 2013.

Many activities are happening there, but the facility is insufficient due to the lack of funds.
They need support because they don't make young people's cultural creation in this town become extinct. We have interviewed Mr. Seiki Kinno, the vice representative of ‘Light House’.

Mr. Seiki Kinno, Vice Representative,
“Light House”, a multi-purpose creative space.

“It’ s a very simple and nice space, but what is this place?”

We are offering this space so that our local people can use it for a variety of art and cultural purpose like performing local music, running workshops or classes.

“So you used to have such space before the earthquake?”

Yes, we used to have a community space run by each local district and a few creative spaces like this....
but have lost them by the Tsunami.

“What changes did this Light House bring?
What kind of people are getting together here?”

Local young people and those who came here after the earthquake. There are different kinds of people who are here to help the city’ s restoration, like those in construction business. I think we are seeing a new integration of people with diverse backgrounds happening here.

“What specific activities are taking place here?”

Right now, we are offering a guitar workshop and also a film production project called Sanriku Mirai Cinema where local people and people from outside are making a film together on owr own. We also have a regular gathering where we invite a buddhist monk from Yokohama on the 10th of every month (the day before the monthly memorial day of March 11) for a prayer and drinking party! It’ s called a ‘Monk Bar’.
At night, the space is turned into a ‘Midnight Diner’ , where we all gather, drink and talk.
Different genre of people come here to join us in different ways.

The space is also used for other purposes including
Music live performance, cinema, theater and yoga class.

“We hear that the fee for using the space is surprisingly reasonable
that students are also frequently using .”

Young people, like high school kids don’ t even have a place to practice their performance. There’ s also no space for them to demonstrate their talents. There’s no choice but to rent a public studio, but there’ s nothing like that today in our town.
Many people are still living in a temporary shelter, so they just cant make much noise. So there are many who come here to make as much noise as they want, like teenagers hosting live concert events. They develop their own program and perform.

“Has anything changed today,
since this was opened?”

I see a drastic change in the last six months. Half a year ago, I was trying to promote the space to people but now the local people are asking if they can use it, or proposing their ideas for the space. We’ re getting more and more proposals and I think it’ s a good thing.

“We hear you have made
some renovation recently?”

It’ s only a very simple sound proof, we have made a stage with a urethan benath. We weren’t able to make a big sound at night as we needed to be mindful of the neighbors, but with this stage, we can make sound to a certain degree.

“Do you need more improvements in the future?”

There is someone who made a proposal to conduct a dance class. To be able to do this, we would need a big mirror. If we can have a gigantic mirror here, we can offer different dance classes.

“Lastly, can you give us a message to the viewers of the video?”

Ofunato doesn’t really have much cultural facilities. We want many more local people to use this facility for many many years, to learn to dance or sing and enjoy what they can.
So please continue to support Light House. At the same time, you should definitely come to Ofunato and visit us at Raito House.
You’ ll know what I mean. You are all welcome.

“Taba”, an artist born in Ofunato, returned to her hometown from Okinawa where she had a career in music.
Today, she works as a staff of Light House, as she continues to write songs of her hometown.

Your purchase of the works of photographer “hanachoco” will help “Light House .