Previous Works ＞
The 10th Exhibition: 2017.4.15 - 2018.1.3
The American Indians are the indigenous peoples of North American. It’s said that their ancestors crossed from Asia via the Bering Strait during the ice age. People in America at ancient times were hunting and gathering tribes, and lived on only the nature’s blessings. However, as large size animals died with glaciers melting, they changed their lifestyles into a combination fishing and farming. They created various cultures throughout the huge North American continent. The indian’s images such as red-tanned skin with powerful, high-bridged nose; glossy hair with bird wing decoration; bravely riding through the land on a horse back; totem poles and la crosse are a mix of various tribe’s features. Although the tribes’ numbers have decreased dramatically through history, they still live strongly and proudly holding onto their tradition.
Wild Animals of the United States
Many animals inhabit America’s vast nature. Especially in the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains, there are unique endemic species such as Moose – having the biggest flat antlers in the deer family; Bighorn Sheep – having large curled horns; Grizzly – the strongest in the bear family; and Packs of Wolves. Other animals like American Bison, which has a strong connection to American history, also survive in the harsh environment. The protection of ecosystem is in progress in America, which has lots of national parks and World Heritage sites. On the other hand, animals give us great nature and their existence is precious.
The Wild West
In the late 18th century, the United States of America became independent. Soon after, it gained territories from England and France, and its territory rapidly spread to the west. With the encouragement of the governemnt, millions of people headed to the western frontier on pathless ways with conestoga wagons in order to gain a land and new life. On the other hand, this meant taking lands away from the Indigenous people. So, the development of American west came with much sacrifice.“Frontier Spirits”, with its sense of liberty, enterprise, and fortitude, led to the formation of an unique American temperament which was distinct from Europe, and it played a major role in the development of American democracy. The lives of these people who lived bravely is depicted in Western stories and movies.
Invention and Industrialization
As a result of the civil war, American industry accomplishes dramatic development because of the unified domestic market, the development of resources and the advancement of scientific technology. Beginning with the opening of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, the railway lines connecting the vast land developed. The interaction and the distribution of products flourished as the industry’s breakthrough in steel and the like progressed. From that came many inventions/technical innovations, such as Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s first suspension bridge that connected Manhattan and Brooklyn and Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. Among inventors, Thomas Alva Edison succeeded in the practical realization of the incandescent light bulb and the phonograph, acquired more than 1,300 patents and is the man who most people associate with the word “Invention”. Their inventions have been useful in various present scenes and support our lives.
Prosperity and Expansion to the World
In the late 19th century, America accomplished dramatic agricultural and industrial development through oil, iron and steel, and became the biggest industrial nation in the world, surpassing England. There were increased opportunities for the overseas market expansion. Through victory in the Spanish-American War, America gained a base for expansion to East Asia and the Pacific Ocean, and there was a shift from Capitalism to Imperialism, resulting in greater American influence abroad. Afterwards, due to the big stick policy of the president Theodore Roosevelt, the Panama Canal was constructed connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. It helped America both economically and militarily, as well as building of a multi-ethnic nation by accepting an influx of Asian and European immigrants. The growth of industry was not only an economical success but also for the political system, the social organization and educational system. It helped the formation of the standards of present America.
America’s Space Program…“The Space Race ”
In 1958, the space development of America grew dramatically as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established. The space development competition with the Soviet Union, which succeeded in launching a satellite, begins and America makes progress with the apollo program whose purpose is sending human being to the moon. Finally in July 1969, astronaunts on board the “Apollo 11″ succeeded in landing on the moon for the first time. The moment when the human being landed on the moon for the first time was broadcasted around the world, and it indicated American authority to the world by innovative space developments. Still now, world-leading research in space shuttles and the international space station continues, and gives people around the world hopes and dream.
Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon…Niagara Falls
4 past presidents who contributed to nation’s founding and development, are carved on Mount Rushmore – the huge rock mountain with the altitude of 1,745m. From left to right, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The monument which began to be built in 1927, took 14 years to complete. It is widely known as the symbol of American democracy. Grand Canyon, placed in front, with its huge valleys with the depth of 1,700m was formed through land erosion by a river. The cliffs showing stratum from the ancient past is truly nature’s art. Also, a waterfall which depict the Niagara Falls is set at the foot of the sand sculpture. The sculptures express the great history and the magnificent nature of America.
Washington Crossing the Delaware
On December 25th, 1776 at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, George Washington’ army crossed the freezing cold Delaware river, and succeeded in raiding the British army in Trenton. The first triumph for Washington’s army, which had been under disadvantage since the beginning of the war, boosted ever dwindling troop morale. Afterwards, with the help of the French, America was able to defeat England after 8 years of war; even though English army was regarded as the world’s best. Washington, who led America to independence, became the first president of the United States and creates the foundation for a powerful nation. Now the painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware”, which is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is loved as the symbol of Washington’s achievement and American independence.
The Gold Rush
On January, 1848, brilliant gold sand was discovered in the American River in California. The rumor spread immediately and there was an influx of people from all over the world who dreamed of wealth. This resulted in the beginning of “Gold Rush”. Just in several years, 300,000 immigrants gathered in California where the construction of streets, schools, and churches in the towns began one after another, and this developed into a statehood. The population increased due to railways and steamboats, and it created even new industries and distribution. Those who provided tools and services that prospectors needed become wealthy, and “jeans” which were durable pants made for prospectors, are famous as products from that period. The Gold Rush gave dream to many people and rocked the world, still today small gold might shine somewhere in the bottom of the river.
Skyscrapers of New York City
The construction of high buildings began in New York City from the late 19th century. Today high buildings such as Empire State Building and Chrysler Building line the streets of downtown Manhattan. These skyscrapers are part of the views that symbolize America. Many head offices of famous American corporations are located here, and it’s the center of economy. Moreover many world-renowed museums and theaters are located, so lots of people are attracted by arts as well. The Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island off Southern Manhattan, was given as a gift from France in 1886 for the 100th anniversary of American Independence. It’ the symbol of freedom and democracy of America as well as new life chapter for immigrants coming from all over the world.
American Culture… “Movies”
The film production in America was initially based in New York. However after the first film studio was built in Hollywood, located in Southern California, in 1911, it developed rapidly as the main location for movies because the weather was better than in NY. In 1920s, film studios begin to make movies that promote their own studio’s actors, and many of them become movie stars. As great movies are produced, Hollywood movies gradually became popular in Europe. As a result, those who have vitality and skills gathered in Hollywood and the golden age of movie productions starts. Amazing movie worlds created with huge budgets and realistic computer graphics – Hollywood movies keep evolving and give the audience surprised and in awe.
In 1940s, American art gain attention in the art world which, at the time, was dominated by European art. Abstract expressionism gain notice due to domestic artists who were inspired by an influx of European immigrants escaping the war. Replacing Paris, New York City became the center of art and the unique American modernism began. The leading painter of the abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock became famous for new methods of painting such as drip painting. In 1960s, Andy Warhol who express daily necessities, scenery and celebrities with silkscreening became famous, and America art spread even more to the world.
Hawaii is the tropical island with shiney sun and blue sky, surrounded by beautiful sea. Consisting of 8 main islands and more than 100 small islands on the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is regarded as a tropical paradise due to its year-round warm climate. It is the 50th American State. However, the history of Hawaii has lasted for several centuries and has successfully formed its own culture from the time of the dynasty creation to present day. The unique dance “hula” with songs which have protected the story and tradition of Hawaii, and the surfing which used to be a sport of the royalty are the worldwide symbol that symbolizes the beauty and the culture of Hawaii, and continue to fascinate people.
The Declaration of Independence
The history of the U.S. begins with the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. The east coast of North America had been part of the British Empire, and there were 13 states which governed themselves. However, after England ordered a tax icrease in the colonies to cover the high expenditure of its wars, the colonists decided to gain independence from England. After the war involving France, American independence was accepted and finally the United States of America was born. It became the first country that had no king and the citizens had equal rights. The Declaration of Independence’s original statements were almost all written by Thomas Jefferson, who became the 3rd president of the United States. The nation’s founding concept which begins with “all men are created equal” written on the Declaration of Independence is still viewed as an expression that represent American democracy today.
The Civil War and Abraham Lincoln
The American Civil War which was fought between the North and South began when 11 southern states formed the Confederate States to try to break away from the Union. In 1863, the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, issued the Emancipation Proclamation. After that, the purpose of the Civil War changed from stoping the separation of the southern states to the release of black slave. As a result, the northern states which gained the support of international public opinions became superior. Afterwards, the Confederate States of America surrendered and America was again united as one. Several days later, however, Lincoln was shot by a southern supporter and passed away. Lincoln, famous for the speech “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, is regarded as the father of the slave emancipation and also respected as the great president who saved America from separation.
American Literature… “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
In the 19th century, cotton cultivation was flourishing in the American South, where most of the workers being black slaves who had been forcefully taken from Africa. They were treated unequally and harshly; often being bought and sold as laborers. The novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is the story of Tom’s life as a black slave. This novel which spoke about the horrendous situation of the slaves and the value of liberty became a best seller. From one novel, the notion of the immorality of slavery spread and the era of slavery abolition movement began.
American music stems from black music, Blues. By mixing with other American cultures with various roots, it developed into many genres such as Rhythm&Blues and Rock. In the early 20th century Jazz, which is the most major part of the black music genre, was born. Jazz, which is said to have began being played in the entertainment district of New Orleans, spread to Chicago and New York, and Swing Jazz with the big band style really became popular in 1930s. There are numerous artists who were inspired by black music in present popular music scene, and American music is loved all over the world.
In American society, there is a deep link between sports and people’s lives because there are chances to play various sports, and people enjoy watching sports all year round. American football, basketball and baseball are popular in particular, and star players in professional leagues can attain more wealth and fame than many professional players in other countries. People of various nationalities live in America, and in sports there are chances to leave great achievements through effort regardless of race or status. Such American dream might be one of the motivations that helped created the huge sports country.
Modern American Style
After the Second World War, America which had became the center of world economy approached an age of stability and prosperity. Many houses stand in the suburbs, home appliances such as TVs and refrigerators surround the inside, music streams from radio and cars drive through the neon city. Such wealthy lifestyles were viewed as “good old America” and led to the creation present American lifestyles. Fast food, theme parks and automobiles which came out In 1950s – 1960s symbolized the wealth of American society. Together, these itesms widely influenced the world as consumer culture.
All is page 1 of the history
2017. Japan/Katsuhiko Chaen