Toronto NAJC at Downtown Toronto’s Matsuri Festival

August 25, 2014 at 10:32 pm

matsuriOn July 27, thousands of Torontonians and tourists crammed into Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto to enjoy  Matsuri: the 2nd Toronto Japanese Summer Festival (see http://matsuri.ca).  Among the many food stands, artisans, exhibitors and entertainers, the Greater Toronto Chapter of the NAJC stood out with its unique exhibit of the “the Live Evolving Wall Painting.” Conceived and supervised by filmmaker Ken Galloway  (a TorontoNAJC board member), the exhibit consisted of a temporary plywood wall approximately 8ft by 12ft upon which artists Tim Fukakusa and Darcy Obokata  painted a continuously changing mural from 10am to 7pm.  The project  was filmed by photographer/videographer David Zelikovitz as the painting evolved from hour to hour.  The exhibit attracted much attention from festival attendees as well as other exhibitors.

MatsuriAlso popular Toronto mayoralty candidate Oliva Chow stopped by to speak to the artists.   Spectators were invited to provide their email addresses to receive a time-lapse video clip of the evolving painting.  A long list of e-addresses was collected, indicative of the interest generated.  As visitors stop to watch the painting unfold, TorontoNAJC boardmembers Kim Uyede-Kai and Ron Shimizu along with Jessica Whitehead of the Japantown Project (see http://vimeo.com/89521390) spoke to individuals and passed out an information card on the TorontoNAJC.

 

 

MatsuriWhat was striking in Matsuri was its youth oriented contemporary Japanese flavour which was reflected in its pop-rock entertainment, Japanese fusion foods, trendy clothing and jewellery.   Particularly notable was the relatively large number of young Japanese Canadians  along with many Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos  and East Asians youth.   Given Toronto’s rapid  growth as a major multi-racial/multi-cultural North American city, one can count on next year’s Matsuri being even more popular.

Ron Shimizu