The (Im)Possibility of Commemorating Fukushima

Solo Exhibition, Installation

25.02.2020 2pm  - 29.02.2020 7pm

For Immediate Release
Berlin–February 1st, 2020

Press Release: Fukushima, Gedenkkultur, memory, commemoration, exhibition, video, performance, photography, installation, sound, mixed-media, exhibition

Japanese Artist Manami Uetake Explores the (Im)Possibility of Commemorating Fukushima


Imagining Something Unknown, Solo Exhibition by Manami Uetake


Opening Reception: Tuesday, February 25th 6-9pm
Duration: February 26th-29th, 2020, Tuesday-Saturday 2-7pm (free entry)


SomoS Art House – Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G, 10967, Berlin (U8 – Schönleinstraße)

BERLIN, February 1st, 2020—SomoS presents the video installation Imagining Something Unknown by multidisciplinary artist Manami Uetake, taking place from February 26th until February 29th, 2020.

Manami Uetake’s work deals with individual and collective trauma, and how its memory can be meaningfully processed, both privately and publicly, officially and unofficially, a challenge to commemoration culture at large, a subject highly topical in Germany as well.

Prior to working in Berlin winter 2019/20 in preparation of this exhibition, Uetake has been photographing monuments and traces in disaster-stricken areas of Fukushima, as well as documenting the private effects in domestic scenes.

In her latest work, Imagining Something Unknown, Uetake deepens her inquiry, now focusing in a more abstract manner on the private ways trauma is processed and shared, its possibilities, but also its limits.

Her installation of performative videos, conducted and filmed at SomoS, is based on a story of somebody losing their home in the Fukushima disaster. In the videos, the artist asked a random performer not deeply acquainted with the culture and the topic, to share their thoughts and feelings towards it in various media, to virtually put themselves in the victim’s situation, highlighting the challenges of conveying trauma and loss, and the quirks of memory and empathy.

The video installation conveys the difficulty of recounting experience, demonstrating the loss that the process of reiteration may bring about. Viscerally making clear the devastating difference between presence and absence, the video installation constitutes a sensitive inquiry into the mechanisms of memory and empathy; of reality and its fleeting representation, of things here today and gone tomorrow.

Imagining Something Unknown presents us with a layered contemplation of memory and remembrance, socially, aesthetically and philosophically.

Find out more about Manami Uetake’s work on her homepage:

About Manami Uetake

Manami Uetake holds a M.A in Painting from Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, 2018 and was a guest student at Chelsea College of the Arts in London, 2015. She has since focused on digital photography, video, text, and sound installation. Uetake has exhibited extensively throughout Tokyo, including her solo show Still Ongoing at TAP Gallery and the group exhibition Typhoon and Order at Gallery 35 minutes. She was also selected for the 13th “1_WALL” Photography award at Guardian Garden Gallery Tokyo in 2015 and was a finalist at the 17th “1_WALL” Photography award in 2017.



Higher res printable images are available on request.

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About SomoS

SomoS is a non-commercial artist-run art space with an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects, intergenerational community and diversity, founded in 2012. Working with emerging and mid-career artists, including those from underserved backgrounds and communities, SomoS provides space, knowledge and resources for the production, presentation, and reflection of the arts. Its mission is to create an international open framework for innovative arts, curatorial projects, education and creative cooperation. SomoS’ exhibitions are based on its own curatorial projects, as well as fee-less open calls for art and curatorial/artistic proposals, and are supported by art councils, universities, philanthropists, patrons, volunteers, interns and staff, all of which share our great enthusiasm for enabling the artist’s vision in projects that would not be easily realized otherwise. SomoS’ engaged schedule of exhibitions, performances, seminars and artist talks is free to the public, and aims to spark interest, discussion, cooperation and understanding, as it activates art’s unique positive uniting potential.


T: +49 (0)172 3118431
+49 (0)30 89563000
A: SomoS, Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.OG, 10967 Berlin