Siknure – Let me live

This catalogue accompanies the exhibition ‘Mayunkiki: Siknure – Let me live’, 9 Sept – 13 Nov 2022, Ikon Gallery, UK.

Mayunkiki is an Ainu artist and musician. This book accompanies the first solo exhibition by an Ainu artist in the UK.

Includes an essay by Jonathan Watkins and an in-conversation text between Asami Hosokawa, Hirohisa Asahara and Mayunkiki.

About the artist and exhibition:

Born in Asahikawa, on the island of Hokkaidō in Japan, Mayunkiki’s artistic practice arises from her Indigenous identity.

Through a variety of works, this exhibition conveys the predicament of her community in recent times.

Like many Indigenous people, the Ainu have suffered systematic marginalisation by a central government and Mayunkiki is especially concerned to raise the profile of their traditional culture, including Sinuye (traditional tattooing practice for Ainu women, banned by the Hokkaidō Development Commission and not yet fully lifted) and Upopo (traditional Ainu music rooted in rhythmic patterns and singing in a trance-like chorus).

This exhibition follows a number by Ikon featuring Indigenous women artists, including Meryl McMaster (Canada), Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce (Australia) and Britta Marakatt-Labba (Sweden) (please hit the name links on McMaster, Watson and Marakatt-Labba to visit their book pages).

The exhibition is supported by The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and The Japan Foundation.

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