Revising our own narratives is an important component in humanity and wellbeing, especially for those who are at turning points in their lives and in the aftermath of extreme experiences such as personal, natural and man-made disasters. When people adapt themselves to new environments, they have no choice but to transform their identities previously established by the backgrounds that were destroyed by these incidents. Developing new narratives plays a key role in transforming people’s identities, which encourages them to problem solve a new beginning or reconnect themselves into the continuum of their lives. In this process, they generally need a safe environment and encouragement because facing realities and finding our own voices often creates a tension with our fears, traumas and customs.
Ryoko's practice-led research entitled ‘Just Keep Going’ explores the way of gentle art interventions with linear composition for the participants in any difficult situations, which aims to encourage them to recreate and develop and share their own narratives by (re)connecting to their own identities.
Her art practice seeks to represent the flow, differences and connectedness of life; Her artwork’s lines have a free-flowing and organic form, suggesting the artist’s background in graphic design and Ikebana.
She is interested in how we humans develop, maintain and transform our identity encountering a lot of differences in a globalised and technological world not only creating their own narratives in their everyday lives but also finding their new narratives in the aftermath of natural or man-made disasters, which forces the victims to modify their identity to reconnect them into new lives. The strangeness among people often leads big transformation of their identity, inspiring them to find new perspectives for their lives, which she hopes might make a world more thoughtful. Her artwork are drawn by her own experience of the forced displacement derived from Fukushima nuclear disaster which occurred in Japan in 2011.
Ryoko Kose arrived in Melbourne in 2014 as a voluntary evacuee from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster accompanying with her two young children before her third delivery. After welcoming her youngest child child in 2015, she started Master of Art- Art in Public Space in RMIT just to get a visa to stay in Australia to protect her children and herself. In her master’s study, she developed the ‘Just Keep Going’ series which proved to be a healing process for herself by revealing what happened to her in the aftermath of the nuclear accident. Afterwards, it encouraged her to start sharing a new narrative, which ultimately resulted in transforming her practice toward a gentle activism for the right to live in a ‘safe’ place as an ‘invisible’ environmental refugee. She is a PhD candidate in RMIT and finished Mater of Art - Art in Public Space in RMIT in 2018. She has exhibited her participatory collaboration for Swell Sculpture Festival in Gold Coast in 2019 and for The Other Art Fair as an guest artist in 2018. She also exhibited her sculpture with performance for ‘Bruised: Art Action and Ecology in Asia’, a part of ‘ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019’ at RMIT Gallery, for the public event by Monash Gender, Peace and Security on the theme of ‘displacement’ in Monash Law Chambers, for the International Women’s Day event in the Artists guild in The District Docklands, a 34m long art work for Metro Tunnel Project in Melbourne CBD 2018. She has also exhibited in solo and group shows in Japan, France and Australia.