Some of you may remember an exhibition at the Kampo Kaikan one year ago of Huichol yarn paintings from Mexico: colorful images born out of the visions of the Huichol shaman. This year the Kampo Kaikan is exhibiting art born out of a different visionary tradition: that of the Australian aboriginal Dreamtime and on Wednesday, Mewby and I went to see it.
The Aborigines of today… …are said to create dreams through their art which permit them to move back and forth between the world of today and that of their ancestors. This exhibition gives you a glimpse of those dreams.
This exhibition moves back and forth in time too, including videos of rock paintings that date back 20,000 years as well as more recent art work collected by the Kampo Museum from across the Australian continent. Many of the paintings are accompanied by videos of the artists explaining the meaning of their work within the context of their traditions. The videos I enjoyed most though, were the animated tales of “The Dreaming” series (you can see an example at the end of this post):
The Dreaming has different meanings for different Aboriginal groups. The Dreaming can be seen as the embodiment of Aboriginal creation which gives meaning to everything: the essence of Aboriginal belief about creation, spiritual and physical existence. It establishes the rules governing relations between the people, the land and all things for Aboriginal people. LINK
Then of course there is the artwork itself of which I was given permission to take a couple of pictures. Deceptively simple, these beautiful images contain an inner motion that makes them seem as if they are alive.
This next image is practically breathing!
This exhibition continues until February 6th. The Kampo Museum is open from 10:00 ~ 16:00 every day. Admission is 600 yen for adults and 400 yen for children.
More Information: 075-771-7130
Location: The Kampo Kaikan is situated on the intersection of Reisen and Okazaki streets due east of Heian Jingu. Click on the map below for a larger image.
And here’s one of those Dreaming videos to whet your appetite: