"Alzheimer Cafe" Exhibition

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poster for "Alzheimer Cafe" Exhibition

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Japan has become an aging society with 15% of its population over 65 years old. Alzheimer's Disease is one of the problems that Japan will face from hereon. This disease, which affects both memory and eating habits, is both an ordeal for its sufferers and their families.

Attempts to treat Alzheimer's disease through art therapy began ten years ago. With the help of specialist doctors and counsellors, the Art Research Laboratory run by sculptor Kenji Kaneko uses art activities as a means for stimulating the right side of the brain - thought to be the emotional side of the brain - with the aim of preventing Alzheimer's or alleviating its symptoms in those who suffer it.

Art therapy is a new discourse, and has been proven to be effective by studies conducted at specialist research facilities and has been adopted by hospitals as a form of nursing. Art therapy also allows Alzheimer sufferers to produce artworks, which strikes viewers with its free expressiveness unbounded by conceptualization. Paradoxically, people with Alzheimer's Disease are liberated from self-consciousness and are able to tap into a sharpness of emotional content that even professional artists cannot attain, all the while making the work without the aim of making it as an artwork. Art therapy shines the spotlight on the hidden artistic ability in Alzheimer's patients, showing us how essential art is to us all in every day life.

30 works are on display.

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From 2007-04-29 To 2007-05-20

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