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To mark the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney, Mosman Art Gallery has organised a multi-media site-specific exhibition to be staged in an oversized old naval fuel tank at Headland Park, Georges Heights on Sydney's North Shore, overlooking the Harbour - the scene of this WWII event.
When three Japanese midget submarines 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 Sydney came under foreign attack, leaving an indelible mark on Australian identity.
Evoking one of Sydney Harbour’s darkest moments, artists Michelle Belgiorno, Ken Done, Jennie Feyen, Sue Pedley, Miku Sato and Gary Warner have responded to this tragic event in a contemporary context producing large–scale installations, paintings and immersive experiences. These multi-media works address themes of conflict, destruction, honor & self-sacrifice while considering the DNA of the unique local structure that houses the exhibition.
TOKKOTAI is staged in the T5 Camouflage Fuel Tank at Georges Heights Headland Park in Sydney’s Mosman. T5 is one of a series of over-sized, industrial scale former naval oil tanks built and camouflaged against Japanese attack during World War II. Restored by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the tanks now offer a site for cultural and creative use. T5 played host to Mosman Art Gallery’s multi-award winning ‘Bungaree’s Farm’ exhibition project in 2015.
The TOKKOTAI project is the first bi-national exhibition dedicated to exploring the Japanese attack on Sydney Harbour. It offers a suite of compelling and culturally sensitive works that re-tell a remarkable Sydney story and a tragic war tale. The works examine the impact of war on our contemporary society on a global and local scale, and of Japanese and Australian joint histories.