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Satoyama Storehouse Introduction

Satoyama Storehouse is an art project Vivian Reiss created for the prestigious Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, the largest international art exhibition in Japan. The project consist of a series of intensly personal paintings of the inhabitants of Hachi, a small rice farming village in the mountains of Japan which is slowly shrinking as farming loses its prestige in Japanese society.

During the Triennial, the work was exhibitied in the village's abandonned school house, where it was viewed by more than 300,000 people.

To create the artwork, Reiss lived in the village for three months, visiting rice fields, homes, kimono factories, and shrines, coming to deeply experience the culture and soul of her subjects, which she portrayed in her portraits. As one of her models commented, "I thought you were only going to paint a picture, I didn't realise you wanted to know the person."

The project had deep impact on Reiss and on the village, rejuvenating the spirit through artistic endeavour..