April 05, 13 | Fumiko Magota

"Fantasy of Light and Shadow" - I was moved by the beauty of this Engaru Town exhibition.

On the first floor of the "Wooden Toy World Museum's Chacha World," located just an hour and a half from Mamanbetsu Airport, is the incredible "Seiji Fujishiro Koropokkuru Shadow Gallery." Where works by master shadow artist Seiji Fujishiro are on display to amaze and astound visitors.

The exhibition features 30 small shadow pictures and 31 large murals which make use of over 100 colors. The display is held in a dark space, giving the fantastic hues of the murals a magical aura.

The theme of this exhibit is "Koropokkuru," a dwarf that appears in Ainu legends. His name means "The person beneath the butterbur leaves."

 

 

(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

▲All paintings are back-lit. It's the opposite of a normal painting so the experience is quite strange.(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

 

Works which made use of water and mirrors for an infinity effect were also on display. Pictures do not do these works justice, but here is a small sample.

 

 

▲"Forest Circus"「森のサーカス」(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

▲This work was created specifically for the museum. It depicts Koropokkuru playing in an amusement park. 「かぎりなき夢のプレイランド」(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

 

The highlight of the gallery was the 9 meter by 18 meter mural "Kousairikuri." 「光彩陸離」("Dazzling" in English.)

 

 

▲This mural stands at two stories tall, quite the visual experience!(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

 

Here's a closer view. Different locations and different times of day are all depicted. Can you spot the Furano lavender fields? How about the Kushiro wetlands?

 

 

▲I spent a long time examining the different sections of this large work, and I feel like I barely scratched the surface!(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

 

Besides the Koropokkuru works, Seiji Fujishiro has many other illustrations and shadow art you can enjoy. Be sure to check out 「暮しの手帖」("Notebook of Life") and 「銀河鉄道の夜」("Night on the Galactic Railroad") as well. If you haven't experienced Seiji Fujishiro's work in person, you're missing out on quite the experience, so be sure to stop by and have a look!

 

 

▲The use of colors is quite magical. Not to mention the cute quality of Mr. Fujishiro's animals!(C)Seiji Fujishiro/Hori Pro

 

 

〈藤城清治影絵美術館〉(Seiji Fujishiro Shadow Art Museum)

TEL: 0158-49-4022

Location: 遠軽町生田原143-4 木のおもちゃワールド館 ちゃちゃワールド1階

(Wooden Toy World Museum, 1F Chacha World, 143-4 Ikutahara, Engaru Town)

Homepage: <a href="http://city.hokkai.or.jp/~chacha/">http://city.hokkai.or.jp/~chacha/</a> (Japanese)

 

 

(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Fukko)

Photographs by Isao Kawamura.

  • "Fantasy of Light and Shadow" - I was moved by the beauty of this Engaru Town exhibition.
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Fumiko Magota

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