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Sakura Koretsune "OKIGATARI - Talking Over Offshore -"

是恒さくら『沖語り - オキガタリ -』
Period:Saturday, May 6, 2017 - Sunday, June 26, 2017
Closed:Mondays - Fridays
Etc.:Opens only on Saturdays and Sundays
Hours:12:00-18:00
Admission:Free
Venue:211 (AI KOWADA GALLERY / Open Letter

Open Letter is pleased to present 'Okigatari - Talking Over Offshore' the first solo show of Sakura Koretsune with the gallery. This is also the first show for the gallery after its relocation to 3331 arts chiyoda.

Korestune had been interested in local folklore and art, and studied Inuit culture and painting at University of Alaska Fairbanks. After graduation from the university, she spent a few years in her hometown Hiroshima working as a curatorial assistant at the local contemporary art museum. In 2015, she moved to Yamagata City to study at Tohoku University of Art and Design majoring in Localized Design. (She earned her Master's Degree in 2017)
Koretsune currently lives and works in Yamagata City.

Koretsune's handcraft-oriented art works are made with very careful field surveys of local histories, myths, and oral cultures, some of which are often not historized and forgotten. Koretusne's motivation as an artist is giving "some forms to remain" to those stories created in local livings, she says.
The main feature of the exhibition is a series of "Fictional Toys (Aji Island, Miyagi Prefecture)," which was inspired with old stories that Korestune had field interviewed former fishermen in Aji island, Miyagi prefecture.

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Artist statement for the exhibition;

Standing on a beach, I look far offshore. Restless small waves are tempting on my toes. As I breath in sea breeze clinging to my cheeks, the sea becomes part of me. Countless creatures should keep moving up and down, to the south, and to the north inside the vast sea in front of me. I stare at the surface of the sea, believing they will show up somewhere.

I have been visiting seaside towns and collecting stories from residents for last few years. They are the people who live closely to offshore - a faraway place to me. The people include an old fisherman who has spent his whole life in the sea, an old woman who has known the sea since her birth, people who catch whales, and people eat whales.

When I ruminate their stories and look toward the sea again, the sea - that was unreachable to me - opens up. I would like to retell the story over offshore through my works, the "okigatari" I encountered.

Sakura Koretsune
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