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About us

About Amamoto & Shiraishi Africulture Centre

Established

April 29, 2022

Mission

Enhance humanity through art

Vision

A diverse and inclusive world for all art

Founding purpose

Our raison d'être is to create a world of coexistence where all art forms shine under the sun by sharing African cultures that promote inclusivity as set out in SDG 16, Peace and Justice for All, with the slogan 'No One Left Behind'.

Activities

Exhibition of the East and West African art collection, the griot performance, dissemination of information through our website, international exchanges, lectures

Location

Izunokuni-shi, Shizuoka, Japan

Representative

Saori Isogai

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◆ Activity 1: Exhibition of the African Art Collection

The Kenji Shiraishi African Art Collection consists of approximately 2,000 works of art acquired by the late Kenji Shiraishi (1946-2005). His collection covers the full spectrum of African culture, not only contemporary African art, but also a wide range of three-dimensional art (masks, sculptures, crafts), textiles, and beads, as well as books, videos, and other materials. The Centre houses around 200 works of art acquired from the Shiraishi Collection, East and West African artists of the 1990s, including George Lilanga, the Tingatinga school (Jaffary Aussi, A.A. Mkura and many others), Elijah Ooko and Cyprien Tokoudagba, and 400 books/catalogues related to African cultures, all of which share the soul of Africa, and radiates an “aura” that can only be felt through authentic works of art. This is the origin of our name in Japanese (Aura no mori geijutusha)

◆ Activity 2: Manding Griot Music Performance

The griot is a group of historians mainly from West Africa, a hereditary musical group dedicated to royalty since before the Mali Empire (1226-1670). Their vast knowledge was valued by the kings, who used them as advisors. The origin of the kora, one of the instruments of the griot, is mysterious, and it is said to have been created by a god and a chosen man. The sound of the kora, produced by 21 strings is like that of a lute.  The audience will enjoy the healing and soulful music played by the griot.

◆ Activity 3: Sharing Information through our Website, Talks, and International Exchanges

The website features the Africulture Times and Collection, with news, columns, book of the month, art of the month, centre activities and an introduction to the art collection.  Lectures on African culture are also planned and delivered. All these activities are linked to international cultural exchange for better understanding.

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