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Call for submissions! “Tell me your emotional scars”

Call for submissions!

Please share your stories about your emotional scars.

I’m working on a project to capture a range of people’s emotional scars through my artwork.

Any anonymous submissions are welcome.

Thank you for your support.

Atsushi Watanabe

“Tell me your emotional scars”


I’m Atsushi Watanabe, a contemporary artist.

I used to be a hikikomori for 3 years.

Many factors including a break-up, anxieties about my carrier as a contemporary artist, my long-term depression, and exclusion from my community formed my emotional scars.

I became hopeless and reclusive, then gradually decided to spend my entire life as a serious hikikomori, to spend my entire life inside my room.

But one day I unexpectedly stopped being a hikikomori.

I reintegrated myself into society and am a working contemporary artist once again.

The exhibition Suspended Room, Activated Home is based on this experience (NANJO HOUSE, 2014).

Solo exhibition "Suspended Room, Activated House"

For the exhibition I called for other hikikomori people to submit photos of their rooms.

This time I’m calling for your emotional scars in your personal life, submitted anonymously online.


The following consists of my emotional scar:

In 2011, just 1 month before the Great East Japan Earthquake. I was a hikikomori inside my room.(79 characters)

48.5×48.5cm / 2016

Cement, resin, "Kin-tsugi" and paints 




・Please submit stories about your emotional scars in the below submission form.

・All submissions will be initially posted on the project page of Atsushi Watanabe’s website.

・Watanabe will select a few texts from the submissions to use for his work (as seen in the above image, his work is made from concrete).

・The text will be written on a circular concrete plate, which will be cracked, and repaired with the kintsugi technique to stich up the scar.


Kintsugi is a Japanese traditional pottery technique of repairing broken pottery using lacquer to mend and gold to ornate. The cracked work does not return to its original state, but the scars, cracks, fissures, and chips, usually seen as a sign of deterioration or lower value, hold a different value. The scar shimmers in its new state. This technique is also called kintsukuroi, or gold mending.

A ware repaired with kintsugi

A ware repaired with kintsugi

・Not all phrases turn into artworks. Please submit understanding that the submissions may not be posted on the site in its original format.

・Please read the below details before you fill the form.

<Submission form> 


( コードを入力してください。: → Please enter the code:: )



 Please read the details below before submitting.



・Please fill the form in 140 characters or less.

・Please write about your emotional scars.

・Please submit anonymously. If a personal or corporate name is included, it may be omitted.

For example,

Use: my father/my boyfriend/my sister

Don’t use: Atsushi/Masako (Use initials such as A or M)

If the name is a public or famous figure, or the corporation name isn’t used for defamation, the submission may be posted in its original format.

・Please write in a simple style; including the who/what/when/where makes it easier to understand.

・Any typos will be corrected.

・If the submission is deemed as defamation towards an individual, as fake content, or as spam, it may not be posted on the website, or may be removed afterwards.

・In most cases the submission will be posted in its original form, but may be edited for any of the above reasons.

・ To prioritize the safety of your emotional scar stories and to avoid any conflicts, please remain confidential about your submission to this project.

・There is no limit to the number of submissions you can make, but please refrain from excessively submitting this form.

・The usage and sales rights for the submitted texts will transfer to Atsushi Watanabe to use for his work or his website. If made into an artwork, there is a possibility that the piece may be sold at a gallery in the future, or may become published.

・Submissions from any language, nationality, gender, or occupation are welcome. Calls in languages other than Japanese and English will be released in the future.

・The concrete plates will be posted on the website per piece as they are finished.

・Once several dozen concrete plates are complete, they will be exhibited at a show.

・This call for submissions may be put on hold or terminated without notice.

・If you have any questions, please fill the form with the title “Question”.

・Upon receipt, the question may be included in a Q&A section on the site if deemed


・If you want to contact Atsushi about the project, please e-mail:



Thank you for your cooperation with this project.

Atsushi Watanabe


"Tell me your emotional scars" project Document Movie 


Video shooting/ Editing: Keisuke Inoue

Location: Koganecho, Yokohama

Video (The documentary was shown at the venue as part of the installation)

8min. 57sec.




Please spread the word about this submission. Thank you!