Thursday, June 4, 2009

MA students curate exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Art

The student curators (L-R): Eiyo Baba, Sawako Chang, Karana Vierra, and Mizuho Murakami.

Mingei: Yanagi Soetsu and the Folk Art Movement exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Art was curated by UH Art Department MA students Eiyo Baba, Mizuho Murakami, and Karana Vierra and History Department PhD student Sawako Chang, members of Professor John Szostak's seminar on Japanese folk art. The students were responsible for all stages of the planning and execution (researching the collection, selecting objects, writing the labels and explanatory text, and designing the layout of the gallery) all with the gracious advice and support of the HAA Asia curatorial staff.

Exhibition runs from May 28-Sept 6, 2009

"Mingei: Yanagi Soetsu and the Folk Art Movement" examines the impact of the influential critic, philosopher and collector Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), who incorporated Zen Buddhist, Socialism, and other influences to create a comprehensive standard of beauty for Japan. That standard, he believed, was best exemplified by hand-made crafts produced by anonymous craftsmen, and the resulting Mingei (folk-art) movement had a profound impact on Japan's craft and design industry.

Featured are objects produced by Japanese, Okinawan and Ainu artists and craftsmen, including textiles, ceramics, and otsu-e paintings from the Academy's collection. The exhibition is the first collaborative curatorial project between the Academy and the University of Hawai‘i.

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