Museum of Contemporary Art, Arts Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
projects & works
Farmers & Ranchers
Moving Landscape
Draw a Farm

shows & archive
FLACC Genk, Belgian Limburg

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Arts Maebashi

Museum of Contemporary Art, Arts Maebashi, Gunma, Japan  (ENG)
Groupshow and commision curated by Fumihiko Sumitomo - 20 Oct 2016 till 17 Jan 2017
2016, Foodscape; We are what we eat

For this group show Wapke was invited to make a new commissioned work on local farms. She portrayed six growers around Maebashi with stories, images and soil Ė her focus was on the family farms that sell their produce at the farmers markets. During farm-visits the daily work was photographed, they talked about the crops and former and future generations in their families. At the end a sample of the topsoil was collected and in the museum shown next to a big photo of the hands.
The special designed displays from wood and garden materials are creating a space for the farmers stories and photographic images. Some stones and rocks were found in the land and scratched by a plow, they are part of the installation.

Feenstra shows her new work under the title: Local Farm.

In Foodscape there are also 2 existing works installed along the new work made for Arts Maebashi 2016:
1. Moving Landscape which shows in Limburg (East-Belgium) a year of primary industry production with the harvest and the transport of the products to the next owner (apples, potatoes, mutton/lam, gravel and sand). In animations Moving Landscape shows how in hundreds of Millions of years the soil and the layers of soil were made.
2. Farmers & Ranchers - shows young people (15-19) that grow up on a farm (in Friesland, NL) or ranch (Colorado, USA) and now study agriculture on highschool level - they intend (at that time) to take over the family-farm or work in agriculture. They worked on pictures of their farmwork and we made in 2013-14 a documentary during the farm- and ranch-visits.

See also the website of Arts Maebashi.

A story:
Mr Akira Mochizuki says he is very fortunate that his sons work here. The grandchildren are also showing an interest in farming but there is no obvious successor so far. Time will tell. He knows about his family history, going back more than 500 years. He says that some of his ancestors were samurai and that his forefathers started farming on this land in Kasuka, Fukasu, as early as the 16th century. The land is, of course, much older. About one hundred years ago, his father unearthed some interestingly shaped stones that looked like tools and eating utensils. The family has kept them. In the 1970s, when his sons were young, Mr Mochizuki was typical of the farmers in this region; he raised cattle and pigs, and he grew rice, and, of course, mulberry bushes for the silkworms. In the 1980s, he heard from a cousin that agricultural changes were expected, so he embarked on a radical plan of action: he got rid of the mulberry bushes and planted fruit trees. It was a decision that paid off, because fruit is still very much in demand. In the summer, every morning at 8.30 a.m., he drives to the local farmersí market where he delivers the harvest from the orchards, which are now cultivated by his eldest son and daughter-in-law. By then, he has already had breakfast and tended the rice fields Ė because his mantra is that you can keep working, even at the age of 84. At 5 a.m., from mid-May till the end of September, he sets off for the rice fields to check out the growth and water levels and manage the weeds. He grows two kinds of rice, one being the popular koshihikari variety. When everything goes well, 30 ares can yield around 2,000 kilos of rice.