June 11— July 8

YOH NAGAO / 長尾 洋

It is our great honour to step into the ethnographical field and present to you a first-ever contemporary interpretation of ainu-e by Yoh Nagao. The Ainu is aboriginal people who once inhabited Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan, Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands. Their culture and traditions differ completely from those of the people who live on the mainland of Japan.

The Ainu created a culture that does not have direct analogies with that of other Southeast Asian or East Asian people. The history of the Ainu is rather dramatic: their colonization by the Japanese, which started in the 1880s, has resulted in an almost full loss of language and culture, as well as drastic losses in their population.

Today, Japanese scientists are searching for the cultural monuments of the Ainu culture all over the world and successfully further the research in their field. But while they study the material culture and traditions of the people, as well as their history, origin and language, the Ainu are still not studied at a sufficient level. It is no coincidence that the Ainu have been considered one of the most unknown people on the planet.

YOH NAGAO / 長尾 洋(*1981) is a Yokohama born and Nagoya raised Japanese contemporary artist who is passionate to pursue his artistic and philosophical theme “We will be the indigenous people of the future” by combining painting and collage in his art pieces. Nagao is one of Japan's leading international artists and since his much acclaimed solo exhibition in Hong Kong in 2009, his works have been exhibited around the world including Switzerland, London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Spain, Tokyo, Miami, Los Angeles and Mexico.

YOH NAGAO / 長尾 洋