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july sumi-e

I think of India as my spiritual home, the home of my soul. Ever since I fell in love with India 30 years ago, I have visited the holy city of Benares at least once every year. Sitting on the banks of the Ganges, I scoop up a handful of Gangajal (Holy Water) and use it to prepare my Sumi ink. I draw the people and the landscapes of this beautiful land. In addition to images of India, I also paint Japanese motifs. For this exhibition, I have artworks depicting Ojizousama (stone Buddha Statue in the shape of a child) and Rakan (achiever of Nirvana).

Profile Yoko Koyano: Calligrapher and SUMI-E Painter Based on her calligraphy and TENKOKU (seal-engraving) profession, Koyano started her SUMI-E painting career in 1977. Since her first visit to India in 1980, she has been providing Indian themed work toward exhibits held over 10 Indian cities, including the 50th anniversary of India?fs independence celebration exhibition. Her works has also been used as title logo of Japanese TV shows and plays.

The Exhibitions Committee 


Noriko UnholyMatrimony 001

In Kyrgyzstan, as many as 40% of ethnic Kyrgyz women are thought to be the result of Ala Kachuu (“grab and run”), or bride kidnapping. According to a local NGO, about 15,000 women, usually below the age of 25, are kidnapped every year to become brides. Though illegal since 1994, the authorities largely turn a blind eye to the practice. Most commonly, the putative groom will gather a group of young men and charter a car to go and look for the woman he wants to marry. Unsuspecting women are then often dragged off the street and bundled into the car which takes them straight to the man's house where frequently the family will have already started to make preparations for the wedding. Once girls are taken inside the kidnapper’s home, female elders play a pivotal role in persuading her to accept the marriage. After several hours of struggle, around 84% of kidnapped women end up agreeing to the marriage. Their parents often also pressure the girls, as once she has entered her kidnappers home she is considered to no longer be pure, making it “shameful” for her to return home. Therefore, in order to avoid scandal, a negative reputation among neighbors, cursing from the kidnapper’s family and disgrace, they tend to remain with their kidnappers.

I visited Kyrgyzstan for the first time in 2012 and have spent five months visiting villages throughout the country to explore the issue and tell the story of mainly 4 women who had been kidnapped: Fardia, a 20 year old woman who was kidnapped but resisted and ended up being rescued by her brother from her suitor's family; Cholpon, Aitilek and Dinara, three women who were kidnapped and, for one reason or another, decided to give in and get married. In January 2014, I went back to Kyrgyzstan for a month to follow up on the women I photographed before. Pictures I took are just a piece of their lives.

Noriko Hayashi (b.1983) is a Japanese photographer focusing on social issue and human conditions in different parts of the world.
Her work has been recognized with awards including the 1st prize of NPPA Best of Photojournalism in contemporary issue stories 2014, the Visa d’Or feature award at the Visa Pour I’image 2013 in France, the 1st prize of DAYS JAPAN international Photojournalism award in 2012. Noriko’s works have been published internationally such as The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Der Spiegel, National Geographic Japan, Marie Claire UK and Russia, Le Monde and Newsweek, DAYS JAPAN.


The Exhibitions Committee



Kuwabara Shisei

Award-winning photographs in the Main Bar from May 10 - June 6, 2014

Graphic design by the art director of Number 1 Shimbun 
in the Main Bar and Masukomi Sushi 
April 5 - May 9, 2014 

Photo Exhibition by Tadashi Kumagai & Mayumi Takahashi 
Main Bar and Masukomi Sushi
March 1 - April 4, 2014

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