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20 years after 9/11

Minako Yoshino sculpts messages to the future

Japanese sculptor hopes her work will help connect a divided world

"Children reading a history book" features two figures looking at a page that simply says "Remember." 

TOKYO -- Japanese sculptor Minako Yoshino had just moved to New York when two hijacked jets smashed into the side of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The horror and destruction of that day sparked a period of deep emotional turmoil for the artist. But she soon found solace in the idea that even when people with firsthand memories of an event are gone, art can help their stories live on into the future. Nikkei interviewed Yoshino and asked for her thoughts on the role of art since the Sept. 11 attacks. The following are edited excerpts from the interview.

In 2001, the attacks occurred near my workplace in New York. It was immediately after I moved to the U.S. to study art. I was totally clueless as to what was happening and was blankly staring at plumes of smoke rising from the ruined buildings. In the middle of the ensuing chaos, I went out to try to find something beautiful.

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