Andrew’s world in Japan

TV Tower Plaze

TV Tower Plaze

Andrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creativprocess &connecting with other creative people.







Exchanges Occur In Many Ways

My journey outside of my hometown, Portland, Oregon, began through the Sister City Association. The mission of sister cities is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time.” The formal program came into being in 1956 during a White House conference on “citizen diplomacy.” This came true for me in my own experience participating in an event bringing together all the sister cities of Sapporo, Hokkaido. That event was called the “International Art Camp: Junior.” Today, it appears the amount of activity through sister cities has wained. Regardless of how active current members are, the memory does live on in a 27 acre park in Nagoya, Aichi.

Fountain In Hisaya

Fountain In Hisaya

The Aichi region holds a lot of Japanese culture in her borders. The headquarters for Toyota can be found here. Three or four times I’ve managed to visit and explore Japan’s forth largest city, Nagoya. Often I have cravings just to go there, head straight for Yama-chan and order more of their delicious chicken wings then anyone should ever consume at one go. All cravings aside, war typically occurs when I visit any new area is what most people may imagine a fi rst date of sorts. We go out for a walk, chat along the way whilst peeping our heads into the various nooks and crannies that make up the neighborhood. Depending on time of day and frame of mind, how this plays out can turn out quite different. If not only because places may be closed because of the hour. In Nagoya, I often fi nd myself drawn to the crafted urban forest of Hisaya Main Street Park. Its doors are always open to great me.

Dedicated to the sister city relationships Nagoya shares, the “Sister & Friendship Cities Commemorative Plaza” takes up approximately 70 meters by 2 kilometers of Nagoya. Within its bounds, there are publicly displayed “gifts” in four dedicated plazas from representative countries around the globe. Each has a series of items installed in these connected plaza areas. An anchor replica from Sydney, a pair of stone pillars from China, friendship rocks and sculptures from Los Angeles, and three objects from Mexico. It feels a bit surreal to stand next to a giant stone disk of “Coyolxauhqui” the Moon goddess even if it is only a replica. The park itself cultivates the sister city mission, peaceful and fostering refl ective consideration of different cultures and communities. The aroma of fragrant fl owers, shade of trees and water fountains provide that buffer from the chaotic hectic nature of any city.


Coyolxauhqu Stone Disk

Creating iconic spaces that embody a bigger mission is not something that happens overnight. It requires continuos observation and active participation. Global relations is no different. I’m glad to fi nd spaces that remind me and inspire me to continue to attempt to refl ect the original mission of the Sister City Association that exposed me to the beauty of global collaboration.


Refl ecting Life