Inner Beauty - the new Dialogue in the Dark exhibition in Japan

Ideas must be challenged. Even our own ideas. The philosophical heart of Dialogue in the Dark lies in the power of encounter. Having the opportunity to encounter the other who is different than me, in a platform of dialogue and lack of prejudices is transformative.

Kiyoe Shimura, Andrea Heinecke,  Toto Ninoaki Suganuma and Emiko Matsuda. Andreasd and Kiyoe  holding the poster of DID inner beauty

As a result, one of the Dialogue in the Dark exhibition important components is the interaction. Going to the dark is disorienting for the sighted visitors who - at the beginning - face a cocktail of unpleasant emotions. One of the most effective ways to cope with this confusion is to interact with the blind guide and with the rest of the sighted visitors.

But what if we focus on the encounter with oneself? Our DiD partners in Tokyo have challenged what we know about the 30-years Dialogue in the Dark and have opened their new DiD offer last November 22nd at the Mitsui Garden Hotel Jingugaien, and which is called “inner beauty.”

It is hard to frame the experience within one word as exhibition. It is even hard to precisely describe the type of experience. Through the initiative of Kiyoe Shimura, the Director of Dialogue Japan Society, The traditional Dialogue in the Dark experience model was enriched by Toto Ninoaki Suganuma, Zen monk from the Soto Sochokokoji temple, and Emiko Matsuda, researcher on physical sensations who collaborated to create the new concept.

This is a 2-hour journey in the dark which is especially designed to connect with yourself. Of course, you have the support of a blind guide who is there to assist. However, the heart of the experience is you and the dialogue with yourself. Elements like water, earth and light are pillars for the sensorial experience.

“Inner beauty” is an immersive blend of a pitch-dark environment, Zen practices, exploration of the senses and some traditional Japanese ceremonies like tea and Noh Theater. It is a vivid entertaining and self-reflexive personal journey in the dark where the objective is that the visitor reaches a high level of appreciation for the daily gifts of life, as well as a clear understanding of the kind-hearted nature of human being.

Darkness and water are the symbols of the experience. Water is the part to purification. Visitors understand change by the contact with the water. Darkness is not only referred as the unpleasant side of life, but in this exhibition, darkness is the place where things that you don’t know or things that you don’t expect are waiting for you. The proposal is that you dare to dive into the dark in order to discover what can be created.

Are you curious to see the beauty in you? We are!