Storymakers Curators Talk Event
Presented by Emily Wakeling & Mayako Murai
July 30, 2022
Join curators Emily Wakeling and Mayako Murai in this special talk event, where they will discuss the Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art exhibition. Wakeling and Murai will delve into the conceptual framework behind the show, the participating artists and the significance of storytelling in Japanese contemporary art. Furthermore they will discuss how the fairy tale, a genre of narrative that has long told stories about non-human beings and non-living things, can give us clues to imagining a more-than-human world that transforms the way people perceive and experience life.
Mayako Murai is professor of English and comparative literature at Kanagawa University, Japan. She is the author of From Dog Bridegroom to Wolf Girl: Contemporary Japanese Fairy-Tale Adaptations in Conversation with the West (2015) and co-editor of Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures (2020), both published by Wayne State University Press. She curated the exhibition Tomoko Konoike: Fur Story held at the Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Arts University in 2018 and has been collaborating with Konoike on the ongoing art project Storytelling Table Runner since 2014. She is currently writing a book on fairy-tale animals in contemporary art and picturebook illustration.
Emily Wakeling is an Australia-based curator and art writer who specialises in contemporary Japanese art. She is the Curator of Rockhampton Museum of Art and was part of the curatorial team for the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Emily was based in Tokyo 2010-2016 and held several arts related roles in this time, including editor for Tokyo Art Beat, lecturer in cultural studies at Joshibi University of Art & Design and Kanagawa University, and author of Art & Society. She has independently delivered curatorial projects featuring contemporary Japanese artists in Australia including Compassionate Grounds: Ten Years on in Tohoku held in Brisbane and Melbourne in 2021.
About the exhibition
Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art dives into a world of fantasy and wonder through a selection of works by five contemporary artists from Japan. Storytelling has a strong presence in contemporary Japanese art, with the significance of sharing and reimagining both personal and communal stories becoming increasingly evident in the wake of major natural and human-caused events. The fairy tale, a genre of narrative that has long told stories about nonhuman beings and non-living things, can give us clues to imagining a more-than-human world that transforms the way people perceive and experience life.
Curated by Emily Wakeling and Mayako Murai, the artworks in this exhibition, with their re-workings of materials, formats and corporeal experiences, revisit old familiar stories in new forms to transcend the anthropocentric worldview. It is this view that has made the modern world blind to vital connections humans hold with the earth and all its inhabitants.
CLICK HERE for more information on the exhibition
July 30, 2022 (Saturday)
3pm – 3:50pm AEST
40min talk + 10min Q&A
Bookings not required
Closed Sundays, July 15, August 20, August 27, October 3, December 21–31
The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008
(02) 8239 0055
Header image: Maki Ohkojima, The Forest Eats Me, 2015