Global Asbestos Congress 2004

Together for the Future: Visual Messages
(Visual Art Competition)

Haruko Watanabe
GAC2004 Organizing Committee, Design Management, Japan

GAC 2004 is a valuable opportunity that brings together people of all walks of life from all over the world who have been involved in, dealt with, or thought about asbestos use and issues. At any congress, participants naturally depend on linguistic expression to relay ideas and concepts. Figures and illustrations may also be used, but simply to the extent of supplementing language. However, there are many ways other than language to express ideas and concepts. Fine arts and performing arts such as music and plays are also important modes of expression and communication. Being more representational and more directly conducive to mental images, they sometimes send out messages that are more vivid and persistent than linguistic expression. While coming from many different walks of life, all participants share the common wish to realize a world free of asbestos risks. Likewise, there must be many other people who share the same wish although they may be unable to express it in language. Let us listen to their messages. This was the starting point for planning the "Together for the Future: Visual Messages (Visual Art Competition)." I decided to make it a wide-open public competition in the hope that it would also attract people who were not originally aware of asbestos issues. I believe participants will relate to some of the visual messages the artists are trying to convey. Participants are invited to vote for the competition during the Congress. Voting in itself is a form of communication between the participants and the artists, through which participants also become senders of visual messages. Based on diverse cultural backgrounds, positions, experiences and modes of expression, let's act out the shared idea of working together for the future towards the eradication of asbestos risks.

Haruko Watanabe
GAC2004 Organizing Committee, Design Management, Japan