I was very excited when my friend in NYC informed me about this exhibition. The gallery was having a reception the following day. Right away, I sent an email to my friend’s contact at the gallery to see if I could attend the reception, and they said yes!
When I got there, I was surprised and happy to see how good the turnout was because I hadn’t seen any publicity about this event in any Japanese news sources in NYC.
They selected a perfect combination of traditional and contemporary crafts. I recognized many familiar names from the Nibutani region in the town of Biratori, which is where I made my documentary.
The highlight of this exhibition is the Nosaku project. These are contemporary crafts and are just-finished products. It’s the first time these artworks have been displayed in the U.S.
In fact, I didn’t see or even hear about the project in Nibutani when I visited last summer.
The artwork is tableware made from tin. It’s a collaborative project between Nibutani and Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, an area that has been known for its metal casting for over 100 years. The complete information is here.
I was especially happy to see that most of the artists are young people. They use traditional Ainu patterns that are unique to Nibutani. As I was leaving, the gallery gave me a cutlery rest, as a souvenir which I am now using at home. You can purchase these crafts if you’d like.
This is a unique opportunity to see Ainu crafts in person, so, I strongly encourage you to go to see the exhibit. For more information about Nibutani Ainu Craft, see here.
Nibutani Ainu Craft Exhibition
When: March 1-11, Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm-5pm
Where: Onishi Gallery
521 West 26th Street Lower Level, New York, NY 10001
The first embroidered garment is made by Maki Sekine, the second one is made by Sumire Kaizawa