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Media Release

For Immediate Release | June 16, 2022

Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art


Immerse yourself in a world of fantasy and wonder at The Japan Foundation, Sydney’s upcoming exhibition, Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art. Featuring a selection of works by contemporary Japanese artists, this exhibition evokes images of traditional fairy tales across cultures, including The Little Match Girl and tales of interspecies relationships and transformations.

Curated by Emily Wakeling and Mayako Murai, Storymakers features works across a variety of media, including drawings, video work, sculpture and performance art. Included in the exhibition are a newly created work by interdisciplinary artist Tomoko Kōnoike, videos by Yūichi Higashionna and Fuyuhiko Takata, paintings by Maki Ohkojima and a flip book animation by Masahiro Hasunuma.

These artworks retell familiar stories in new forms, moving beyond the anthropocentric worldview that has made the modern world blind to vital connections humans hold with the earth and all its inhabitants.

Storymakers will be on display at The Japan Foundation Gallery from July 29, 2022 to January 28, 2023.

An event program will run in conjunction with the Storymakers exhibition, including an opening reception, talk events and more.


Masahiro Hasunuma
Yūichi Higashionna
Tomoko Kōnoike
Maki Ohkojima
Fuyuhiko Takata


Storytelling has a strong presence in contemporary Japanese art, with the significance of sharing and reimagining both personal and communal stories becoming increasingly evident in the wake of major natural and human-caused events. The fairy tale, a genre of narrative that has long told stories about nonhuman beings and non-living things, can give us clues to imagining a more-than-human world that transforms the way people perceive and experience life.

Header image: Fuyuhiko Takata, Dream Catcher, 2018



July 29, 2022 – January 28, 2023

Explore a selection of works by five contemporary Japanese artists, inspired by traditional fairy tales across cultures.

Held at The Japan Foundation Gallery

About the exhibition



July 29, 2022
6-8pm (opening address and performance from 6:30pm)

Join us on July 29 (Friday) for the opening reception of Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art, including a live performance by artist Tomoko Kōnoike. She will sing a folk song from Akita Prefecture in northeastern Japan, where she was born.

Held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney

About the opening reception


July 30, 2022
3pm – 3:50pm AEST (in-person and online)

In this special talk event, curators Emily Wakeling and Mayako Murai will discuss the Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art exhibition. Wakeling and Murai will delve into the conceptual framework behind the show and the participating artists, as well as the significance of storytelling in Japanese contemporary art.

Held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney

About the talk event


Stitching Wonder

July 30, 2022
6-8pm AEST (in-person and online)

Join Tomoko Kōnoike and Mayako Murai for an insight into the planning and making of the Storytelling Cushions, as part of Kōnoike’s ongoing performance art project.

Held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney

About the workshop
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Gallery Hours

Mon–Thu: 10am–6pm
Fri: 10am–6pm
Sat: 10am–4pm

Closed on Sundays and public holidays


The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008


Exhibition entry is free.

Media Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

General Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

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