New Chitose Airport
At the New Chitose Airport, animated artwork by creative company “NAKED” highlighting “Ainu culture” is being showcased in the International Terminal Arrivals Concourse. The Ainu people use the name “kamuy” to refer to animals, nature, and the many phenomena that are beyond human understanding. The animation captures the spectacular nature of Hokkaido where the various kamuy abide. The story welcomes visitors from other regions and expresses the spirit of the Ainu people.
Additionally, a decorative artwork inspired by traditional Ainu patterns are being exhibited on the concourse window, transforming the International Terminal Arrivals Concourse into a gateway to Japanese culture, by promoting “media arts meets Ainu culture”.
*This exhibition is being displayed within the International Terminal Arrivals Concourse, and is not available for viewing by the general public. Only passengers arriving on international flights are able to see this exhibition.
[New Chitose Airport Exhibition Summary]
Ainu culture encompasses the language, food, housing, belief systems, crafts and artistic traditions of the Ainu people, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands. Ainu daily living tools and traditional dance have been designated as Important Folk Cultural Assets (both tangible and intangible) . Additionally, Ainu patterns, folklore, and geographical names derived from the Ainu language are widely used and have been appointed as Hokkaido Cultural Heritage artifacts. Although there are no longer individuals who practice the traditional Ainu lifestyle, the core of Ainu culture has been handed down through generations and lives on today in many places.
A "creative producer" directed each airport exhibition for this initiative. Creative Company NAKED is responsible for the artwork at New Chitose Airport.
NAKED Inc. is a creative company founded in 1997, with a team comprised of video directors, designers, CG directors, and writers led by MURAMATSU Ryotaro. They create videos, advertisements, TV, and installations across many media platforms in varying genres. Their latest projects utilize light to create a holistic artistic experience, by incorporating a variety of technologies, artistic techniques, and staging tools such as projection mapping. As of today, the events and exhibitions the company has planned, directed, and produced, have been seen by over three million people.
NAKED produced a large-scale video installation and a decorative window art piece centered on the theme of "Ainu culture." The video piece was supervised by Dr. KITAHARA Mokottunas (Associate Professor at Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies), and the concourse window design piece was supervised by Dr. TSUDA Nobuko (Visiting Researcher at Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies / Researcher of Ainu Clothing Patterns at TSUDA Studio) who received the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award last year.
“The breath of KAMUY”: Large-scale (26 meters in width) video installation inspired by Ainu Culture
Art Description of “The breath of KAMUY”
In Ainu culture, it is believed that the world is formed from interactions between people and spiritual beings known as “kamuy”, which means “god” in Japanese language. The Ainu people use the word“kamuy” to refer to animals, nature, and the many phenomena that are beyond human abilities. The artwork captures the spectacular nature of Hokkaido where the various kamuy abide. It tells the story guided by a kind of owl (Blakiston’s fish owl), known as “kotan-kor-kamuy,” which is believed to be a special kamuy that protects villages. This story is meant to welcome visitors from other regions and expresses the spirituality of the Ainu. The music accompanying the video installation was created with the support of the artist KAPIW&APAPPO, who sing Ainu folk songs, and Dr.KITAHARA Mokottunas. The song remixes rhythms and vocals unique to Ainu folk music, using Ainu folk instruments.
Decorative art incorporating traditional Ainu patterns “100 years of history”
Art Description of “100 years of history”
The 40-meter-wide artwork on the concourse window is inspired by the patterns of an estimated 100-year-old clothing of Ainu, which was kept in the home of Dr. TSUDA Nobuko (Visiting Researcher at Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies / Researcher of Ainu Clothing Patterns at TSUDA Studio.) It is a type of Sakhalin Ainu clothing known as “Chijiri” that has been worn regularly, and it bears small holes, scrapes, and other marks of use. The clothing is directly embroidered with silk thread, and as many such examples of silk embroidery and silk cloth are often seen in old documents, it is assumed to be around 100 years old. This clothing was given to Dr. TSUDA Nobuko by a descendant of someone who returned from Sakhalin to Hokkaido just before the end of World War II.
[What are Ainu Patterns?]
Ainu patterns are designs seen in the clothing of the Ainu people who have lived in Hokkaido,Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands since ancient times. There are male patterns that are carved by men in wood or bone, and female patterns that are embroidered by women on cloth. Each has been created by techniques that are passed down from male and female family members.
Continuous rope patterns around the collars, at sleeve openings, and around the hems of clothing were intended to ward off evil spirits and protect the wearer from disaster, disease, and other misfortunes. Prior to the 19th century, a single rope pattern was embroidered at the approximate center of the cloth on these edges. However, beginning from the 19th century, spiral patterns with added curves emerged, creating the beautiful Ainu patterns that we see today.
New Chitose Airport Exhibition Details
- Date & Time
- Friday, August 30, the first year of Reiwa (2019)-
*Viewing time corresponds to New Chitose Airport facility operation times
- New Chitose Airport International Terminal Arrivals Concourse
*This exhibition is being displayed within the International Terminal Arrivals Concourse, therefore only available for viewing only for passengers arriving on international flights.
- Creative Producer
- Video and song - Dr. KITAHARA Mokottunas
(Associate Professor, Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies)Window art piece - Dr. TSUDA Nobuko(Visiting researcher, Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies / TSUDA Studio, Researcher of Ainu Clothing Patterns)Musical composition - KAPIW&APAPPO
- New Chitose Airport Terminal Building Co., Ltd
- Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan
“Japanese cultural media arts dissemination initiative in airports and other institutions”