For those of you who know, stuvvz has just been back online, so we’re actively seeing who’s been looking at our social media, hoping to understand who our current audiences are. And to our pleasant surprise, Heralbony is one of them.
Their IG bio says “知的障害。その、ひとくくりの言葉の中にも、無数の個性がある。“普通”じゃない、ということ。それは同時に、可能性だと思う。異彩を、放て。” There is also a roughly translated line in English, but I don’t think it captivates the totality of the Japanese description.
Heralbony is a brand that represents artists with intellectual disabilities in Japan. However, before you jump to your idea of what that means, let’s go back to their Japanese description. They say the word “intellectual disability” holds countless characteristics, and these characteristics are released through creating art. They also say their artworks are atypical, but I would say they have achieved more than that. To me, their designs are challenging and unique.
While lots of organisations help those with disabilities through assisting them in creating and selling their art, they often face criticism on the quality of the art. Worst yet, people use a different lens to see these artworks. They may even simply reason what they see with disability in mind. I believe this defeats the purpose and the artworks by these artists completely. I hope everyone can just enjoy the works on Heralbony because the works deserve your full attention. Let it be the visually rhythmic print by Yu Takada, who is a dancer and Takura dance drummer himself, or the calmly created yet powerfully dynamic print by Takahashi South, all of the artists fully express their characteristics through their artworks. Colorful, intricate, and energetic, each print pops with an unexpected joy to them. Some of the artwork titles give the works a whole new meaning too, such as Leaves, House, and Numbers.
Printed on scarves, handkerchieves, and neckties, and presented along with edgy photographs, Heralbony is a brand backed by talented individuals that I think needs not to mention their disability at all.