Hibernation (2018)

A collaborative show with Roi Carmeli as part of the Artists in Residence programme, Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio, Japan

I participated in Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio’s AiR Program in October 2018, together with Roi Carmeli. It was our first time visiting Hokkaido, and we wanted to learn more about the heritage of the Ainu, Japan’s Indigenous people.

Ainu Autumn Equinox Ceremony

We arrived in Hokkaido in the Autumn, a season well known for the quick and dramatic change of Autumn leaves colors. Staying inside Tenjinyama Park in Sapporo, we were surrounded and had access to various types of leaves.

Iyomante (イヨマンテ) is an Ainu ceremony where a bear cub is raised for two years then sacrificed.

Bears are considered to be powerful gods by the Ainu. They also have numerous references in Japanese popular culture, appearing in comics, logos and souvenirs.

We were constantly hearing about bears, and were advised to carry a “Bear Bell” when we went hiking. But we never encountered a bear in reality. We decided to break this tension by creating a sculpture of the worst case scenario: our portrait of us getting eaten by a bear.

We gathered Using organic matter in Tenjinyama Park, and used it to create printed works on Paper and Fabric.

Additionally, there was a kinetic sculptural element, constantly ringing a “Bear Bell” that accompanied the visual work with a sound usually associated with the outdoors.