The Nippon Gallery in New York will hold “Okinawa Art in NY” Exhibition from June 20 – July 27th, 2012. Artists include renowned Seikichi Tamanaha (painting), Yoshiharu Higa (photography), Michiko Uehara (weaving), and other Okinawan artists living abroad. There hasn’t been anything like this before in the United States, and Okinawan Art is finally receiving the recognition it deserves.
Last year in early November, environmental artists Tim Collins and Reiko Goto were invited to the Ryukyu University to run a workshop on how art can visually express the importance of biodiversity.
Traditionally, Okinawans have worshiped nature. Holy grounds known as utaki are usually in forests and by rivers, sometimes an entire island. Approximately 400 to 500 utakis exist in Okinawa, including the upstream of Sembara pond behind the Ryukyu University’s Northern Cafeteria.
Workshop participants saw the Kyuyo bridge across Sembara pond as a gateway to the biodiveristy of Okinawa and creatively conveyed this message with a performance art using leaves.
Directed by Koichi Onishi, “Sketches of Myahk” is a documentary film about traditionally inherited chants in praise of God and sacred songs of Miyakojima vanishing in the time. The film received Special Mention by Semaine de la Critique of Locarno International Film Festival 2011.
A website which supports young, Okinawan artists by networking with communities and companies, promoting artists’ exhibitions, e-commerce selling artists’ products, running art-related events, and helping create an art market in Okinawa. Information only available in Japanese (for now…?)
“In what may be her most ambitious undertaking yet, Mori — who previously showed a pod-like sculptural environment, Wave UFO, at the 2005 Venice Biennale — plans to build a solar monument on Miyako Island, located 180 miles off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa. The piece, titled Primal Rhythm, will place a towering column and a glowing sphere on separate rock mounds in the island’s bay.”