Hellion’s Second Annual Ema Show—Three Cities, Forty-One Artists

Posted by Rachel Bell on

Ema plaques are a ubiquitous sight in Japan. But what are they, exactly? These small wooden plaques are usually purchased at Shinto shrines. People buy them, add a wish or a prayer, and then hang them up on the shrine grounds, sending well wishes to the departed.

Hellion Gallery curator, Matt Wagner, has taken the concept of ema plaques one step further with his annual art show featuring more than three dozen artists who repurpose the plaque format to create one-of-a-kind art pieces. This year, the art show will span three continents with shows in Tokyo; Portland, Oregon; and Paris.

Ema plaques for Hellion Gallery show

With 41 artists contributing unique ema plaques for each city, we’re ready to pack our bags and head around the globe to see all 120+ pieces live and in person. Readers of Wagner’s books,The Tall Trees of Tokyo and The Tall Trees of Portland, will recognize some of the artists. Art lovers can also look forward to seeing pieces from several of the artists featured in his upcoming book, The Tall Trees of Paris.

2016 Ema Show Openings:


Hatos Bar 1 Chome-3-5 Nakameguro, Meguro, Tokyo

February 13th at 6:00pm

Portland, Oregon

Hellion Gallery19 NW 5th Ave, Portland, OR

April 7th at 6:00pm


Galerie Artistik Rezo14, rue Alexandre Dumas, Paris

June 21st at 6:00pm

The Ema show will feature work by:

Karilise Alexander, Alexone, Nicolas Barrome, Dilka Bear, Robert Bowen, Stephanie Buer, AJ Fosik, Haroshi,Jesse Hazelip, Maryanna Hoggatt, Mary Iverson, Zach Johnsen, Jean Jullien, Josh Keyes, Olivia Knapp, KoleoKoralie, KozynDan, Jon MacNair, Yu Maeda, Heather Mclean,  MHAK, Tamaki Mori, Nino, Nosego, JM OuvryJeff P, Peca, Ewa Prończuk-Kuziak, Joram Roukes, Ren Sakurai, SAL, Souther Salazar, Renan Santos, Andrew Schoultz, Kojiro Ankan Takukawa, Amandine Urruty, Ben Venom, Casey Weldon, Eric Wert, and Yoskay Yamamoto.

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