>> Exhibition Report (Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples)
The exhibition “The Call of the Living Earth: Photographs of Australian Aborigines by Minoru Hokari” closed on June 20. Even though it was a very, very small exhibition, I have the impression that it attracted more attention than any of our previous exhibitions.
At first, even my colleagues had asked, “Hokari Who?” But on opening day, Naoko Terada (travel journalist) sent a beautiful bouquet, and there was a sense throughout the museum that this exhibition was not going to be like the others. Then scores of visitors came from afar specifically to see this exhibition, many copies of Radical Oral History and Kaze no Tabibito (“Traveler of the Wind,” a magazine that published an excerpt of the book along with photographs by Seiichi Motohashi) were sold, and Ronin Films came to film it all. Requests for informational postcards far exceeded the five or so inquiries that I had expected. Thus the initial reaction of “Hokari Who?” shifted to “Who IS this Dr. Hokari?!”
To be honest, I had been a little worried whether a collection of photographs taken by a graduate student would hold up as an exhibition in a public museum, free admission notwithstanding. But such worries turned out to be utterly needless; The composition of the photographs, their horizontals always true, made it clear that each scene, each frame had been photographed with the utmost care. While the exhibition consisted of more text than images, the photographs certainly held their own.
In putting together this exhibition more than any other, I have appreciated the support and cooperation of so many people, and I am grateful for the encouragement I received throughout the process. The satisfaction of knowing, from the visitors’ reactions, that this exhibition has been an inspiration is one of the privileges of being a museum curator.
The total number of visitors to the exhibition was 3,509.
(Translated by Kyoko Uchida)