To mark the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney Harbour, Mosman Art Gallery has organised a multi-media site-specific exhibition staged in an oversized old naval fuel tank at Headland Park, Georges Heights, overlooking the scene of the World War II account.
Six Australian and Japanese artists have interpreted the event in a contemporary context, offering large–scale installations, paintings, soundscapes and immersive experiences that consider war and conflict on a global scale, while evoking one of Sydney Harbour’s darkest moments.
When the Japanese opened fire on the night of 31st May 1942, it was a brazen strike that created fear and havoc across Sydney and around the nation. War was brought home to Australia’s Eastern States.
Twenty-one Australian Naval personnel and six Japanese submariners died. It was the first and only time modern Sydney came under foreign attack, leaving an indelible mark on Australian identity.
The exhibition is housed in T5 Camouflage Fuel Tank, one of a series of over-sized industrial scale former naval oil tanks on Sydney’s north shore, built and camouflaged against Japanese attack during WWII.
Restored by The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the tanks now offer a site for cultural and creative use.
TOKKOTAI features the work of Michelle Belgiorno, Ken Done, Jennie Feyen, Sue Pedley, Miku Sato and Gary Warner.
The artists explore topics of empire, self-sacrifice, death, destruction and honour while considering the DNA of the unique structure that houses the exhibition.