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OIST draws praise while unveiling ceramics exhibition

Date Posted: 2011-06-23

The first-ever exhibition staged by Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology has opened to warm praise from local community leaders pleased at the new graduate university’s interest in the arts.

HAMON, an exhibition of works by ceramics artist Shinman Yamada of Yomitan Village, opened last weekend for a five-month run. Jonathan Dorfan, the OIST Graduate University President-elect unveiled the exhibits in the new school’s main exhibition hall, telling the mayors, community leaders and guests “Creativity is the essence of invention and discovery, and the OIST will build an international center for science and technology.”

He emphasized, though, that “to do so successfully, it must be imbued with the broader elements of human culture. This exhibition is the first in a program of cultural activities.” Yamada, the ceramist chosen for the initial exhibit, drew Dorfan’s praise. “It is entirely suitable that great works of art should find a home in a great center of science. Mr. Yamada is one of Okinawa’s leading ceramists and I am honored that he has chosen to display his works here.”

Yamada transformed his ceramics skills into an exhibition at MacNay Museum in San Antonio, Texas in 2975, then was selected to stage exhibits in Scotland, Finland, Japan, New York, Stockholm and Washington. HAMON was first staged as a private exhibition in Finland in 2006, then in LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton New York and Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington in 2007.

He explains his theme on HAMON as “motion of life” and said “it is good that natural light shines into this exhibition hall to see my works. I can exhibit under very comfortable conditions.” Yamada says “I indicated “motion of life” is in the works here, and I hope people who come to see my works can feel great motion of life, such as birth, origin, resonance, pulsation and ripples.”

The mayors of Yomitan Village, Denjitsu Ishimine, and Onna Village, Fumiyasu Shikiya, joined Dorfan and Dr. Mikio Higa in exhibition opening ceremonies. “We want OIST to appeal to Okinawa residents with HAMON,” said Shikiya. “I hope that technology that will lead to Okinawa lives becoming more comfortable will be born here at OIST,” Ishimine added. Higa, a special advisor to The Terrace Hotels, which is co-sponsoring the exhibition, added “It is necessary that local residents’ assist in the development at OIST. For that, we should create a comfortable environment for scholars, and The Terrace Hotels gives willing cooperation on this.”

The exhibition is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Onna Campus Center Building, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. To get to the OIST campus, drive north from Kadena on Hwy 58 and past Renaissance Resort continuing towards Nago. Turn right onto the new Onna by-pass road, and continue until you see a sign pointing to the OIST on the right.

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