Canadian Museum of Civilization brings exhibition of Inuit prints to Japan

January 18, 2011

Posted on: 18/01/2011

Canadian Museum of Civilization brings exhibition
of Inuit prints to Japan

Gatineau, Quebec, January 18, 2011 — The Canadian Museum of Civilization is proud to announce that a spectacular exhibition of Inuit prints will be unveiled at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan on January 21, 2011.

Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration will feature exquisite and historically significant works of art from Japan and the world-renowned Cape Dorset print studio. It will also pay tribute to the man who first introduced Japanese prints to the Arctic: Canadian artist and “discoverer” of Inuit art, James Houston.

Some fifty years ago, the small community of Cape Dorset in the Canadian Arctic was introduced to the ancient traditions of Japanese printmaking. The remarkable story of that artistic encounter and its extraordinary result are the focus of this exhibition organized by the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

“The exposure to Japanese printmaking gave the Inuit a new form of cultural expression, and they soon gave the world an original, distinctive and exciting genre of graphic arts,” said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “This is a wonderful example of the outstanding benefits of cultural interaction and adaptation, and we are proud to share this exhibition with visitors in Japan, and around the world.”   

Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration is a groundbreaking inquiry into the Japanese influences on the early years of the Cape Dorset studio. The exhibition comprises original works of art, including some of the rarest and earliest Cape Dorset prints and the actual Japanese prints that were brought into Cape Dorset in 1959, inspiring the Inuit artists. By juxtaposing the works, the exhibition reveals the many ways in which the Cape Dorset artists creatively “localized” Japanese influences.

The exhibition is a showcase for the Inuit art collection held by the Canadian Museum of Civilization—a collection that is unmatched in depth and scope, and that provides an unrivalled record of artistic achievement and cultural change in Canada’s Far North.

Coupled with the exhibition is a catalogue featuring rare archival photographs, two essays and forty-six exquisite artworks. This catalogue presents new scholarship on Inuit printmaking in Japan, and is edited by Dr. Norman Vorano, Curator of Contemporary Inuit Art at the CMC.

The exhibition will be on display in Tokyo from January 21 to March 15, 2011. After its showing in Japan, the exhibition will continue to tour internationally.

Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7169

Fax: 819 776-7187