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Photo Exhibition "Positive Energies"
at the United Nations in NewYork

What's New!

We would like to update everyone who have been supporting the photo exhibition ‘Positive Energies’ project.

We had a meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in early June to discuss about holding an exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York around the ‘World Down Syndrome Day’ on March 21, 2023.
The exhibition was initially scheduled in 2020 which was postponed due to the pandemic.

Most of the UN conferences have been switched to online and there were no side events. Nevertheless, face-to-face and hybrid conferences are gradually coming back since the beginning of this year. It seems that the pre-pandemic-life is returning even though it is hard to predict when the pandemic will be completely over. Considering the current situation, we will start preparing for the event to be held March next year. However, it might be postponed again depending on the infection status.

We will let you know if there is any updates.
Thank you for your understanding and continuing support for the project.

Fumio Nabata

We will hold a photo exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters (NY).
On the International Day “The World Down Syndrome Day (March 21)”,
we will make this exhibition at the United Nations
as a catalyst to spread this work throughout the world.
●Photographic Exhibition “Positive Energies” at United Nations Headquarters.
●Organizer : Photographic Exhibition “Positive Energies” project Executive Committee.
●Co-Organizer : The Permanent Mission of Japan to the United NationsLinkIcon

"Positive Energies” in Tokyo

A photographic exhibition "Positive Energies”
Overflowing power to live
The theme is the positive energy of people with Down Syndrome
Japan's first photo exhibition that moved the hearts of people in London

Fumio Nabata ✖︎ Richard Bailey

Fumio NabataRichard Bailey

Fumio Nabata Richard Bailey Shibuya Hikarie 8th floor gallery space "CUBE"
2-21-2 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

22 Jul, - 3 Aug, 2021 11am-8pm (Admission is until 7:30pm)
*24 July until 5:30pm (admission is until 5pm) admission free

● Organizer: Photographic Exhibition "Positive Energies" Executive Committee

● Grants: The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

● Special sponsorship: Shoko Kanazawa

● Sponsor: Zenchikyosai, Compact Disc & Video Rental Commerce Trade Association of Japan

● Special cooperation: Shifting Perspectives Project

● Supported of the project

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Shibuya City
Special Olympics Nippon Foundation
Japan Down Syndrome Society
Down's Syndrome Association
Myanmar Down Syndrome Association
Down Syndrome South Africa
The Photographic Society of Japan
NPO Osaka US Club
NPO Acceptances

Photographic Exhibition “Positive Energies” Project

Photographer Fumio Nabata
Taking pictures of children with disabilities around the world, mainly Down syndrome,
We are running a project to hold photo exhibitions around the world.


Overview of Photo eExhibition

  • Photo exhibition in LondonIn the first photo exhibition “Positive Energies” held in London in 2018, We conducted interviews in Japan, UK, Myanmar and South Africa/We collaborated with two people Richard Bailey, an English photographer and Fiona Yalong Field who shoots pictures related with Down syndrome.

  • Based on this UK experience, by holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, He would like to hold the same Photo Exhibition in Japan in 2020, when interest in people with disabilities will increase most.

The Significance of Project

1. We want to change the mind of people after the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

  • One of the concepts of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo in the summer of 2020 is “Unity with diversity.”.
    The world is evolving to create a society where all people can coexist with inclusive keywords. However, in Japan, only language precedes, and in reality, there is a barrier to social life because of the physical and intellectual disabilities. As a result, the fact that there are few points of contact with each other and that psychological barriers have been created is also a factor that prevents a symbiotic society from progressing.
    “Positive Energies” shall tell the people in the society by showing the pictures of children with Down syndrome interviewed throughout the world who are happily living with their families, grown up and work, or dedicate themselves in various sports, we deliver messages that they are surely the members of our co-living global society with diverse identity and magnetism.
    At the 2020 Japan exhibition, with the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, many people feel their energy, remove psychological barriers for people with disabilities, and move toward a society where all humans can coexist. I would like to utilize this opportunity as a trigger to this society change.

2. We would like to deliver Positive Energies to worried mothers.

  • A girl with Down Syndrome in Mynmar
  • In the field of obstetrics, during the past few years, the new prenatal diagnosis test to detect the chromosomal abnormalities of a fetus has been prevailed, and many expecting mothers have that inspection. Now, 90% in UK, 96% in Japan, of the examinees who found positive expecting a children with Down Syndrome choose abortion. (Reference: BBC, UK. Mainichi Newspaper, Japan.) Concerns have been raised by several academic societies that “the result of the test may lead to the selection of lives”.

    Under these circumstances, many mothers and her families are facing the severe fact and choices whether to accept the baby with disabilities to each family or not. In those difficult circumstances, I would like to propose another option to provide the photos of the children and grown-ups with full of positive energy who are living in this actual society throughout the world, as one of the positive choice of theirs.
  • When the first photo exhibition was held in London in 2018, there were many comments from visitors that they were able to smile and moved their heart in the UK, which is said to be highly conscious of diversity. It was sent. I received a comment from a pregnant woman who was waiting for the results of the prenatal diagnosis, said, “I was going to give birth to the results, but I was convinced that my encounter with this exhibition was not my mistake.”

Purpose of Project

  • A girl with Down Syndrome in Japan“Positive Energies” shall pursue and aim the changes of the people's understanding and awareness towards the people with disabilities, and try to eradicate the prejudice towards disabilities. not by just highlighting the disability itself and get sympathy, but giving hope and joy by presenting works full of positive energies of the children.

  • Our fundamental purpose of this project is based upon the Act 8 of UNCRPDLinkIcon(United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Awareness-raising, which is “To raise awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with disabilities, and to foster respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.”

Click here for the Artwork.


Photographic Exhibition “Positive Energies” Project Executive Committee

Board Menbers
Norio Mizoguchi (Chairperson)
Yoshimasa Ikeuchi
Fumio Nabata
Norioko Goto


Prof. Osamu Nagase :
Eminent Research Professor at Institute of Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University.
Chair of Membership Committee and Officer of Inclusion International.

Kimiko Kamihara :
Toyama Branch Chief of JDS: Japan Down Syndrome Society,
Former Director of Japan Down Syndrome Society

Special Advisors
Prof. Toshiyuki Niwa :

Visiting Professor of Kansei Gwakuin University SGU,
Former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF
Former Assistant Secretary General of UN and UNDP

In the Fumio Nabata Photographic Office,
2-2-3-204, Satsukigaoka, Ikeda-shi, Osaka-fu, 563-0029 Japan Tel/Fax: +81-72-752-8280

Project History

  • Photographer Fumio Nabata, from an accidental encounter with a disability support activist in the UK in 2013, was blessed with the opportunity to photograph a child with Down syndrome and realized that they had very strong positive energies.

    The image of people with disabilities of “poor” and “unhappy” that I had until then changed completely. I felt that, rather than pitiful, there was too much power and I could get energetic.
    At the same time, little is known about its energy, and by saying “Having a disability"
    I felt very uncomfortable with the psychological barriers in society.

  • The desire to change the image of people with disabilities by conveying the positive energy of these children has led to the launch of a project to develop a photo exhibition around the world. In addition, the photo exhibition is held in the UK with a high awareness of diversity, and it is important for people with disabilities to take it back to Japan after receiving an evaluation. I thought it was the most effective way to do a photo exhibition.

  • And in 2004, by meeting with Mr. Richard Bailey, a photographer and a leader of the photo exhibition “Shifting Perspectives” at the exhibition venue that was held in 2014 at the ITOCHU Gallery in Tokyo, it led to collaboration. Group member Fiona Yaron Field also joined and held a London exhibition in 2018. It was highly evaluated by many visitors in the UK, which is said to have a high awareness of diversity.

Encounter with Mr. David Tawell, a advocacy activist for the people with disabilities (London in 2013)Photo shooting of a girl with Down syndrome (Kyoto in 2014)The first meeting with a British photographer Mr. Richard Bailey.(Tokyo in 2014)Collaboration with Richard Bailey came to adecision.(London in 2014)

Photo Shooting in U.K (Bath in 2014)iiting Myanmar Down Syndrome Society (Yangon in 2016)Visiting Down Syndrome South Africa (Pretoria in Sep, 2017)I had a meeting with Mr. Richard Bailey (left) Ms. Fiona Yaron-Field (middle) with whom I collaborates. (London in Sep 2017

Coverage of Kansai TV “NEWS Runner” (Kyoto in 2018)Symposium: "Positive Energies" Pre-event ~Toward the Society where to live together~“ (Osaka in 2018)1st Photographic Exhibition “Positive Energies” (London in 2018)Symposium: Social inclusion of children with disabilities. (London in 2018)

“Positive Energies” A Photographic Exhibition in London


 Fumio Nabata Richard Bailey Fiona Yaron-Fieald
16th to 21st May 2018 Oxo Gallery

Projected Venue & Date

Gallery@OXO websiteLinkIcon
Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
It is scheduled to be held from 16th to 21st May 2018


Embassy of Japan in the UK The Japan Society in the UK
Japan Down Syndrome Society Down's Syndrome Association (UK)

Myanmar Down Syndrome Association Down Syndrome South Africa

Smart Inclusion Innovation Consortium


The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation


NPO Osaka US Club

A Recommendation Letter

We have received a recommendation letter from Mrs. Akie Abe
for our photo exhibition "Positive Energies" to be held in London.
She is First Lady of Japan.

Related Events

●Symposium hosted by Japan Society (London)

Positive Energies: Social inclusion of children with disabilities.A talk with parents, teachers and photographers.
The event on 17 May 2018, 6.30 pm, at the Swedenborg Society, will include speakers from a range of backgrounds and will provide an opportunity to explore attitudes and perspectives on Down’s and other children with disability, in Japan and the UK.

The Japan SocietyLinkIcon



The Panel Discussions hosted by Osaka US Club (Osaka)

"The Photo Exhibition "Positive Energies" Pre-event
~Toward the Society where to live together~“
Date & Time: 18th, Feb, 2018 1:30 p.m. ~ 
Venue: Abeno-City Citizen Learning Centre   


Exhibition Visitors Feedback


What inspiring and poetic pictures of beautiful humans.

Moving and original photographs. Those photographed are absolutely beautifully captured!

Quality space filled with an essential topic/debate… Perfect (or is it/are we?)

Beautiful photographs. In the states I have worked with children and adults who have Down Syndrome. What a beautiful exhibit to come upon here!

It's the first time I cried at an exhibition. (A gentleman in his 20's)

Moving and original photographs.Those photographed are absolutely beautifully captured!

I saw the panel saying “Positive Energies” and it was about disabilities so I had to go in. The photos are full of energy and joy. (A lady on a wheelchair in her 60's)

I was really surprised that he went to Myanmar as it has so many problems. It was nice to see thatchildren with Down’s syndrome are given opportunities there. The photos are full of happiness and I believe that’s why he’s called the exhibition “Positive Energies” but it really is full of positive energy. (A lady in her 70's)

I felt the power of photographic representation. You usually see images of depressing and sad nature around disabilities but in these photos, there is positivity and warmth. I liked the scale of the photographs and how he’s presented the photographs unframed. It removes the distance from the viewer and gives intimacy to the subjects. It was also nice to read and see how he has worked on his project. I could see that he is willing to share the process whereas some other photographers tend to keep it to themselves.(A gentleman in his 40's)

I empathized with what Fumio’s written, “the part he said he only felt sorry for people with Down’s syndrome at first and then realized what joy they have.” People with Down’s syndrome express their feelings with honesty without filter. That’s why you can feel their happiness coming through directly. (A lady in her 40's)

I had been told that I have 20% chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome and I am currently waiting for the results of the blood test. Although I was pretty sure that Iwould have my child no matter what, coming across this exhibition by chance felt like a sign to me that my thinking was not wrong. (Expecting lady in her 20's)

A model girl came to the gallery from Japan

○Posted a panel introducing the state of the project.

JapanMyanmerSouth AfricaU.K.

○Special Thanks Panel


Introduction by media


The Asahi Shimbun 20 Jun 2018The Sankei Shimbun 19 Jun 2018The Sankei Shimbun 14 May 2018 16 regional newspaper (Delivered from Kyodo News) Jun 2018

The Yomiuri Shimbun 8 Mar 2018The Nikkei 27 Jul 2017

Web News

YomiDr.by Yomiuri Online 4 Jun 2018 Sankei WEST 25 Jun 2018 Asahi Shimbun Digital 3 Jul 2018

TV News Program

"The News Runner" The Kansai TV news program 20 Mar 2018


"JDS news" Jul, 2018 issue of the Japan Down Syndrome Association. "Suport" Jun, 2017 issue of Japanese Association on Intellectual Disability "JDS news" Dec, 2017 issue of the Japan Down Syndrome Association. "JDS news" Jun, 2017 issue of the Japan Down Syndrome Association."Journal" issue Fall Winter 2018 of the Down Syndrome Association (UK)