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Exhibition of Inuit prints has world premiere in Tokyo







Posted on: 11/03/2011

Exhibition of Inuit prints has world premiere in Tokyo


Inuit printmakers Cee Pootoogook and Qiatsuq Niviaqsi with exhibition curator Norman Vorano at the opening reception.

Inuit printmakers Cee Pootoogook and Qiatsuq Niviaqsi with exhibition curator Norman Vorano at the opening reception.
The world premiere in Tokyo of a groundbreaking exhibition of Inuit prints, organized by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, has completed a remarkable circle that began over five decades ago. Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration opened January 21, 2011 in a public gallery at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. Among those in attendance were two of Canada’s leading Inuit printmakers and a member of Japan’s Imperial Family.


The exhibition explores the origins of Inuit printmaking in the late 1950s and the surprising connection to Japan. It features an outstanding collection of historic works by both Inuit and Japanese printmakers.


The first arc of the circle was drawn in 1958 when Canadian artist and civil servant James Houston travelled to Tokyo from the Eastern Arctic to study traditional Japanese printmaking with Un’ichi Hiratsuka, one of the world’s leading print artists.


Guests admire the historic prints in the Prince Takamado Gallery of the Canadian embassy in Tokyo.

Guests admire the historic prints in the Prince Takamado Gallery of the Canadian embassy in Tokyo.
The second arc was drawn three months later when he returned to Canada’s Far North to share his newly acquired knowledge—and a collection of Japanese prints—with artists at the fledgling print studio in Cape Dorset. The circle was completed when this exhibition opened in Tokyo, finally bringing to Japan the results of this intercontinental cultural sharing that occurred more than 50 years ago.


“As we expected, this exhibition is getting a lot of attention in Japan,” said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “This is a prime example of how distant cultures can meet and enrich each other for their mutual benefits.”


Dr. Victor Rabinovitch speaks at the exhibition opening.


Dr. Victor Rabinovitch speaks at the exhibition opening.
Dr. Rabinovitch attended the Tokyo opening and spoke to the 120 guests about the generosi

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