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A journey to explore the meaning and new possibilities of art

From antiquity to the present, every era has been occupied by artists who have continued to create art - at times heralding the coming age while at others caught in the tides of history. While modes of expression have changed since we began painting some tens of thousands of years ago, art has never disappeared from human history.

This fact suggests that despite the tendency to view art as something special, as the monopoly of artists and the privileged few, art is intimately connected with our humanity - our desires, hopes, dreams and evolution. It also implies the significant role of art as a catalyst in the world.

What is the purpose and meaning of art? 
What is art itself?

In order to answer these questions, White Ship was founded in 2001, followed by the non-profit Institute of Communication Art in 2011, the predecessor of ELAB. This represents the exploration of the contribution art can make to the world, and, as an expression of a new form of art upon the canvas of society, it is also a part of my art practice.

Art fills a critical space in the process of finding solutions and resolving the many challenges that exist in the world we live in today. As a borderless communication tool transcending race and nationality, the role of art will likely continue to grow in significance.

It is my belief and hope that our art practice, and art as a whole, will contribute towards the creation of a future society where all may truly flourish.

Kunihiko Yazawa
Artist, Founder & Board Chair


ART at the center of the EARTH

The phrase, “Art at the center of the Earth,” indicates the process of creating a thriving society through art by connecting the 3 E's representing Education, Environment, Entertainment to the H's of Humanity, Harmony, Happiness and Hope. This is the very concept behind artist Kunihiko Yazawa’s art practice.

With Yazawa’s philosophy of ‘Art at the center of the Earth’ at the heart of ELAB, we aim to create through our art practice a thriving society where all children can enjoy “the happiness of creating the future”, “the capacity to truly appreciate beauty,” and “making connections that transcend language."



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Our partners

Earth Company
Bridge for Fukushima
The Japan Foundation
Leadership Program - Beyond the Arab Spring

University of Tokyo  
Global Health Leadership Program 
Ship for World Youth Program
Cabinet Office Government of Japan
Health and Global Policy Institute
Junior United Nations Eco Workshop

White Ship, Inc.