December 19, 2011

REPORT: Forest Gallery & Concert @ Haponetay

Haponetay (Mother Forest) is a forest in Shimizu, Hokkaido (near Obihiro) that is run by two Ainu women – the mother-daughter pair of Rumiko & Utae Ehara. Haponetay is the venue for the yearly “Forest Gallery” which display works by Ainu and other artists in a forest setting. Other events such as workshops and concerts are also held at the forest during the period of the exhibit.  

This year, the artists on display were Shogo Yoshino and sayo, two young Ainu artists that are former members of the AINU REBELS and are currently AINU PRIDE PRODUCTIONS featured artists, as well as Koji Yuki of Ainu Art Project. The works of Ague, a silversmith who incorporates the Ainu designs of his wife Emi Toko, and Atsushi Hirata, a “Jomon”-inspired artist were also included in the exhibit.

A piece by Shogo Yoshino

A series by sayo
The concert held this year featured traditional dancing and singing by the Hunpe Sisters, a trio of Ainu women who in their own words look like hunpe (whales), and the rock-infused Ainu music of Ainu Art Project. Other local performers and a group of schoolchildren learning Ainu traditional dance also joined the concert as well.

Hunpe Sisters in action

(More photos are available on our Facebook page)

Next year’s event is already being planned, please contact us if you would like to learn more about Haponetay or the featured artists – or visit Haponetay’s website (in Japanese only) or follow them on twitter.

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