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Contemporary art from the Ainu people of Japan

Akimi Shimada, Details of kaparamip garment/cotton.

Akemi Shimada, Detail of attus garment, attus and indigo dyed cotton.

Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Te Auaha Gallery

65 Dixon Street


24 - 29 January 2024


Hihiaua Cultural Centre

56-58 Herekino Street


2 - 16 February 2024


HOEA! Gallery

Level 1/100 Grey Street,

Gisborne 4010

9 February - 5 April 2024

Ramat Kor Kur was the first exhibition of Ainu art to come to Aotearoa and included the work of four Ainu artists: Akemi Shimada, Koji Yuki, Sayo Ogasawara, and Atsushi Monbetsu.


“Ainu” meaning human, distinguishes the Ainu people from kamui or divine beings which they believe reside in all natural objects. Formally and legally recognised as an indigenous people of Japan in 2019, the Ainu have their own distinct language and culture - reflected in place names throughout Northern Japan including Hokkaido. 


Showcasing a range of contemporary art from embroidery to carvings, Ramat Kor Kur celebrates Ainu culture while highlighting the special relationship between Ainu and Māori with documentation of the Aotearoa Ainu Mosir Exchange Program by Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Iguchi.


The exhibition coincided with an important milestone in Ainu-Māori relations. It marked 100 years since the 1924 world tour of Ratana founder, Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, during which he befriended Japan's Bishop Juji Nakata of His Holiness Church.

Three exhibitions of Ainu art and associated public programmes were held in Poneke Wellington, Whangarei, and Turanganui-a-Kiwa Gisborne between January and April 2024.

Ramat Kor Kur Artists

With special thanks to:

Goichi Terachi

Takayuki Okazaki

Te Ururoa Flavell

Naoko Sakazume

Toi Nga Puhi

Te Haahi Ratana

Te Auaha Gallery

Te Papa Tongarewa

Hihiaua Cultural Centre Trust

New Zealand Embassy, Tokyo

Hoea! Gallery and Project Space

Embassy of Japan in New Zealand

Aotearoa Ainumosir Exchange Programme

And to our funders for making this happen:

Asia New Zealand Foundation

Creative New Zealand

Wellington City Council

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