Please Do Touch Media Pack

Please Do Touch concept 
The Please Do Touch series of installations make a connection between art, social and environmental topics and disability. The installations are part of the Taking Action! UNESCO project that Yaniv Janson launched 5 years ago.

The installations focus on high priority themes which address the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Yaniv is working on creating new art for this exhibition and plans to travel in New Zealand to consult with the disability community and so be able to integrate their ideas into his work. This would make this project the first collective one of its kind. 

Art can facilitate the complex understanding between humankind and its environment through alternative languages involving all our senses. Please Do Touch installations make use of visual, body, oral and kinetic languages to speak to the variety of human experiences - to collaborate and work on humanity’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Proud to report support from Creative New Zealand and from the EASPD for a solo exhibition of Please Do Touch at the EASPD Montenegro Conference [Community-based support and Sustainable Development] and Paris HQ UNESCO in October 2017.

Reference: Creative New Zealand []

This Taking Action! blog [] reports on the project.
Yaniv paints about the Sustainable Development Goals, for instance:

Goal 13 - Climate Action
Yaniv launched the Changing the World - One Painting at a Time campaign in 2010 painting about the ice cap melting and the sea level rising, as reported in the “Hot Topic” blog of the Royal Society of NZ. He has been active in this field ever since, with the help of the UNESCO APAH (Asia Pacific Art Hub) to disseminate these ideas globally. The photo below shows side by side the "Goldilocks zone" where the sun pours over vegetation helping it grow and flourish (right) and the Climate Change turbulence that will result (left) should we continue on an unsustainable development path.

Goal 14 - Life Below Water

Conservation has a vital role to play in supporting our fragile ecosystems. The photo below shows these works - we could either have biodiversity or inert water.

Project lead background
Yaniv Janson who leads this initiative is a young artist and political commentator. Through his art, he works to raise awareness about environmental and social issues and to move audiences to create impact. He has exhibited his work extensively in New Zealand and abroad. Yaniv’s passion is to give a voice to more disabled people whilst contributing back to society:
“Working towards crucial environmental goals allows Yaniv to give back to his community by proving that disability is not a barrier to achieving and sharing a social message with others”
Margalit Berrier, Presidente, Memoire de l'Avenir, Paris, France
Janson’s animation on the website of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission [] and his books featuring art, social change and education illustrate the concepts inspiring his work with international organisations.

Yaniv's second book and educational resource ‘Changing the World – One Painting at a Time’ has been adopted by international organisations such as the UNESCO and is showcased on the Asia Pacific Art-educators Hub/UNESCO website (see project background tab on this blog].

In 2012, Yaniv donated it to the UNESCO for distribution to art teachers worldwide. Since then Yaniv has lead a series of interventions aimed at raising expectations from disabled people and match their motivation to contribute to their communities. Working in close partnership with Apple Australasia, Yaniv designed the first accessible Art electronic book - a multimedia-training resource for workers supporting disabled artists. The Please Do Touch installation will include a set of iPads for the audience to interact with the art.

A multimedia resource will accompany the project.

In Nov 2016, the Please Do Touch project was listed on the United Nation's website [screenshot below] at:

The project video trailer can be viewed below:

Yaniv Janson is a gifted fine artist residing in Raglan, New Zealand. Having begun his journey as an artist in November 2007, he has showcased his work in over 40 exhibitions, in 4 countries, receiving over 18 awards, scholarships and sponsorships. In addition, he has sold over 150 paintings and his work is collected in New Zealand and overseas. Now in his early 20’s, Yaniv’s mission is to raise awareness about environmental and social issues and inspire audiences to create change – through art.

More photos and details of the project here.

In June, the "Invisible Disability" project was launched at the New Zealand Parliament by Hon. Nicky Wagner, Minister for Disability Issues, with new avenues for the Please Do Touch message, including the Minister's tweets!

6. Media
Yaniv's "art-ivism" was reported in more that 40 media pieces (view here); the latest were Kia Ora Magazine, the magazine of Air New Zealand distributed at 400,000 copies and UNO Magazine [screenshots below] at:

 Well... if we all play our roles, we can make a better world!!

Press items that specifically report on the Please Do Touch project:
Raglan Chronicle article at:

Waikato Times article [online version]:

Waikato Museum curator Leafa Wilson said Janson has a rare understanding of colour and composition: "[But] his work is not just pretty pictures. He usually has some kind of intent behind his work," Wilson said. "He's using the idea of kinesthetic art where you have to touch it to get the sensation and to get an idea of what he is feeling when he is painting it. He's just really committed to painting part of his language." Wilson said people like Janson, who are on the autism spectrum, are often able to catch details and messages that others don't see. "Their world is different. They see things quite differently.

7. Collaboration with the Memories of the Future UNESCO project 
( The Please Do Touch project will feature as one of the global art projects that Memory of the Future will exhibit at the World Humanities Conference (WHC: in Liege in August 2017.

The jury wrote:

"Dear Yaniv, Thank you very much for your work and for your poetic engagements. Your work and words prove well that, beyond all borders and differences, art can unite and offer ways for expressions and contact between all people. Your statement about special people is strong and beautiful! Indeed with art one can resist, transfer ideas, evoke debates... encourage dialogue and respect to towards people. We hope via Arts and Society we will initiate contact between people, artists and projects around the globe, to encourage others to react!"

Please Do Touch ethos
I am on the autistic spectrum and live with epilepsy. I feel that this installation would be a meaningful contribution to community. Please Do Touch facilitates sensory art experiences for all audiences, including people with visual impairments and special sensory needs, such as people on the autistic spectrum like myself. I choose to challenge traditional art ‘rules’ by inviting the audience to touch the art and engaging with audiences that were traditionally excluded from the experience of art. Conversely, this demonstrates that the disability community is keen to participate in mainstream society – by experimenting with different experiences of art for all to try” (Yaniv Janson, Project Lead).


8. Exhibition at the Paris Gallery Memories of the Future
A new opportunity has arisen for the Please Do Touch artworks to be also exhibited as part of the collaboration with UNESCO MOST []

9. A public evening under the Arts and Society project hosted by Dr. Guillaume Dumas, Chief Researcher at the Pasteur Institute []. Dr. Dumas researches Human Genetics and Cognitive Functioning and their connection to autism and art. See Guillaume's talk here and exhibition-roundtable here.

Mémoire de l'Avenir
Espace interculturel pluridisciplinaire 
45-47 rue Ramponeau
75020 Paris
Tél : 09 51 17 18 75 

M2-11 Belleville, Couronnes ou Pyrénées
The resource that will accompany it, Changing the World - One Painting at a Time, revised for this event is accessible to all and can be downloaded in 2 different formats:
  1. pdf file for all systems
  2. An ePub multimedia file for IOS systems, including movie clips, image galleries, gifs to illustrate some points and an interactive map. Epubs work interactively on systems that can read ePubs - for instance iPads and iPhones - screenshot below

The media from the 30 under 30 Hamilton City Council award.

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