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JWT art project aids Tohoku relief effort

Art Giving Project

Still picking up the pieces: Tohoku two years on

An ad agency is behind a project to help people in the earthquake-struck region of Tohoku, Japan.

JWT has been operating a service that sells images and art, much like a stock library. The proceeds go toward relief efforts in the affected area, which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The man behind the idea – called Art Giving Project – was JWT Japan’s creative director Hiroaki Shinkai, who teamed up with Amana Stock Services, Japan’s largest stock footage library.

JWT and Amana work with photographers across the country, and have brought Fumbaro Higashi Nihon, the largest relief unit in the Tohoku region.

“The Art Giving project has really struck a chord with many people because it’s sustainable,” said Shinkai. “This is not a one-off thing. This will help supply the relief agency with a steady stream of income, going forward, for years to come.”

JWT is providing project management for Amana, which manages the infrastructure to collect, share and sell the art work.

Shinkai now wants the project to go global.

“If the idea goes global, art buyers will have access to a much wider, more global pool of artists and works, which gives those artists new, global exposure,” he said.

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