April 30, 2007

Haida art on shopping bags

Haida artist hits it big in Asia

Large retailer Seiju buys design to grace shopping bags[Yahgulanaas] is already a big hit in Japan and Korea where manga--Japanese for comic--is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year business.

And greater commercial success may just be around the corner.

Seiju, a large Japanese retailer with a major shareholding from U.S. retailing icon WalMart, wants to mount Yahgulanaas's Hachiridori, hummingbird design from one of his books with the English words "I do what I can" on its non-plastic, reusable bags.

Yahgulanaas says he doesn't know how enriching it will eventually be but is hopeful it will be enough for him to carry on his personal campaign of taking the Haida art tradition out to the rest of the world and not just in the traditional style.

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