Seen from Hokkaido, the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka Peninsula were
seen as a far-off land shut away behind the Iron Curtain, but how did
appear to Russian and Soviet eyes?
Kunashiri and Shikotan Islands have been visited by artists from Sakhalin, Vladivostok and Moscow since the mid-1960s.The distinctive volcanoes and beautiful bays, the canning factory and its laborers, such sights became motifs for these artists.The borderland was drawn into existence on numerous paintings and created a new Soviet and Russian landscape.
On the other hand, the Kamchatka peninsula, declareda UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 1996, has been blessed with a ¡Ærich and untouched nature¡Ç of dramatic landscapes, varied flora and fauna, hot springs, volcanoes, and Arctic forests, and is becoming a crucial region of research for scientists.Being at the Far Eastern end of Russia, it is not a place that received much attention until recently but, rich in mineral and energy, maritime and forestry resources and possessing considerable tourist potential, it has recently started exciting great interest from many countries.
Through this exhibition, it is hoped that the past, present and futures of the ¡Ænear, yet far¡Ç Kamchatka and Kurils should become clearer, and thinking about border issues stimulated.
Activities of the ¡ÆShikotan Group¡Ç
Itinerant Artists on Sakhalin
||If one stands at Cape Shiretoko or Cape
Nosappu and looks north, one can see the arc of the Kuril Islands
curving up towards Kamchatka, blessed with its Arctic Forests,
Volcanos, Onsens and varied flora and fauna. While a northeastern
extension of the Japanese archipelago, for historical and political
reasons, the region is a ¡Ænear, yet distant¡Ç one when viewed from
The exhibition will focus on the nature and lifestyles of people on Kamchatka and the Kurils, introducing the present and future of a region rich in untapped resources and the promise of future development, one relatively unknown to Japanese audiences.