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The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation is delighted to introduce the unique works of the acclaimed Japanese artist Haruo Mitsuta to the UK public.
Mitsuta is the only contemporary artist who makes Jizai Okimono (“articulated animals”) – flexible animal figures made from metal pieces, which can replicate the movements of the original animals. Originally they were made by armourers in the late Edo and the Meiji period.
Jizai Okimono have gained some recognition within Japan in recent years, but still belong to a very minor area of traditional Japanese metallic handicrafts. The vast majority of these items were sold abroad, so this exceptional form of art never had the chance to develop its roots within Japan, where it originated. Its presence may have been long lost in the Japanese art scene, but these objects have been collected and cherished by many people outside Japan.
Mitsuta will be showcasing some of his most impressive and startlingly realistic pieces in this exhibition.
Grimeborn Opera Festival
8pm 23rd August
3pm 24th August
8pm 24th August
Origami and music. A multi-media opera installation. Verity Lane‘s two-part project draws on her 10 years’ experience of living in Japan, exploring classical Japanese traditions with a uniquely avant-garde twist.
A brand-new performance project with music, stories and concept by Verity Lane, Origami Soundscapes: Flower, Bird, Wind & Moon explores ancient symbolism and Japanese birdsong, featuring a large-scale origami performance by Coco Sato, percussion, shakuhachi and storytelling.
The Crane reimagines a Japanese folk story about a magical crane that takes human form, set around Hokkaido’s Otowa Bridge. This mystical opera installation explores traditional Japanese aesthetics through a blend of Noh theatre conventions, traditional and contemporary dance, avant-garde music and animation.
Sung in English and Japanese without surtitles.
Music and Libretto (English and Japanese) by Verity Lane
Supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Verity Lane/music, words, creative directer
Coco Sato/Giant Origami
Born in Tottenham and spending nearly a decade in Japan, visual artist, composer and writer Verity Lane specialises in creating highly visual performance installations for traditional Japanese instruments. and beyond.
Her recent multi-media projects include A Thousand Bamboo in a Dancing Wind (performance installation for 300 shakuhachi, 2 dancers, projection and performance poetry, commissioned by The World Shakuhachi Festival, held at Goldsmiths, 2018), Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime (supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), and Japanese Sandscapes: The Tale of Mt Fuji where she worked with artists including Ko Ishikawa (sho/Reigakusha), Etsuko Takezawa (koto/shamisen) and Kaho Aso (traditional Japanese dance/kotsuzumi). Both projects saw Lane launch herself within London’s avant garde music scene, selling out venues across London.
Coco Sato is an award-winning Japanese artist based in the UK. Her work uses origami to change the way people see the world.
Mirei Yazawa is a performance artist based in London.
Beibei Wang is a genre defying percussionist based in London.
Tomoko Komura is a London based performer from Japan, trained at the London International School of Performing Arts with an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor-Created Theatre (2006). She has performed and toured in shows by award-winning theatre companies such as Theatre Ad Infinitum (Ballad of the Burning Star), Theatre Témoin (Jukai) and Out of Chaos (Out of Chaos).
Kiku Day is a shakuhachi player based in Denmark.
Hester Dart is a London based contralto and graduate from the University of Leeds. They study with Prof. Neil Baker and are currently finishing their second year at the Morley College Opera School. Hester is particularly interested in promoting the work of
LGBTQ+ composers and musicians. They would like to contribute towards a more inclusive and accessible environment within classical music and opera.
Rowan O’Brien is a renowned animator and 3D artist from the West Coast of Ireland. He mixes sketches, objects, computer animation, and video in his work. He has screened and exhibited work across Europe, South Korea and Japan, where he lived and studied Japanese fabric craft known as oshie.
AN EXCLUSIVE ONE-OFF CONTEMPORARY AND EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC AND DANCE PERFORMANCE FROM TRADITIONAL OKINAWA
MYM (Mutsumi, Yu and MINA) presents “Okinawan Avant-Garde Night”, an exclusive one-off music and dance performance with visuals and elements of storytelling at the crossroads of traditional Okinawan (Southern Japanese), contemporary and experimental music.
Punctuating their performance with the sound of the iconic Okinawan 3 string lute “sanshin”, Okinawan musician Mutsumi Aragaki (vocals, sanshin, electronics, audiovisual) and Japanese/Swiss musician MINA (vocals, sanshin, violin) each offer an avant-garde approach on ancient sounds and tales from the Southern Japanese island.
By blending songs, stories, images and movements together with Japanese performing artist Yu Tamura, this new collaboration invites the audience to discover the unique and rich culture of Okinawa with a highly artistic perspective.
Event details and tickets: https://richmix.org.uk/events/mym-presents-okinawan-avant-garde-night
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/364576844222056/
“Four striking works align, taking the audience on an exploration of reflection, purification, self and identity. Together we navigate an energetic path that illuminates the significance of our connection as human beings through unspoken word.”
The Japan Foundation is delighted to partner with Fabula Collective on a contemporary dance production presented at Sadler’s Wells this October. A mixed bill performance choreographed by James Pett, Travis Clausen-Knight, and Japanese contemporary dance artist Kahiko Narisawa, the project emphasises the collaboration between Japanese and British dancers, bridging the cultures of the two countries and facilitating a meeting of minds to exchange skills, knowledge, technique and creative ideas.
The performance will be followed by a conversation between the dance artists and Sanjoy Roy, dance writer and critic for the Guardian.
Date: 8 October 2019, from 7:15pm
Venue: Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio
Roseberry Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Nearest tube: Angel Station
Introduction by Bryony Dixon (BFI)
A screening of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu’s silent gangster filmWalk Cheerfully with specially composed score by Japanese music specialist Clive Bell and renowned improviser Sylvia Hallett, performed live by the benshi Tomoko Komura.
The silent films screened in Japan from the 1920s to late 30s were never completely silent. Katsudo-shashin benshi, or benshi for short, were voice performers, who delivered live narration that provided everything an audience might need to appreciate a film by enacting characters in a theatrical manner (playing multiple roles with a variety of voices) while sitting or standing beside the movie screen.
Although known for the minimalism of his later work Ozu (Tokyo Story) had grown up devouring Hollywood movies. This is a delightful Tokyo spin on a classic gangster tale of Kenji (aka Ken the Knife) a thief who likes drinking and fighting. When he falls in love with sweet and simple Yazue, and she finds out what kind of man he really is, she leaves him ‘until he becomes an honest person’. But it is not easy to get rid of one’s past.
Kenji’s underworld adventures and doomed attempts at going straight accompanied here by expressive word, gesture and music, courtesy of benshi Tomoko Komura and musicians Clive Bell and Sylvia Hallett.
A panel discussion and Q&A led by Bryony Dixon will take place after the screening.
Name: Walk Cheerfully film screening
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Tue 15 Oct 2019, 19:00 – 20:30
Full Price: £13.00
Senior 60+: £11.00
Registered Unemployed: £6.50
Under 18: £6.50
+44 (0)1937 546546
“This project is named Yū (幽) / phantom.
Yū is Japanese special sensitivity, it’s means like “faintly”, “fleeting”, “airy”, “vaguely”. It’s be understood by Japanese people as also “ghost”, “apparition”, “phantom”.
This performance depicts two Japanese goddesses, one phantom, and one modern woman, by dance of Misuzu and the music of Shin’ichi Isohata and Naoyo Yakushi.
Many of the origins of religion in all world were goddess faith. God or monster has the back and front faces that are intrinsic as same as humans (although I think originally God should not be such an existence..). Every existences have good and evil, and also there has sadness in the bottom of the heart. However, sometime the sadness might be become to mercy or hope. Music wander between reality and mythology with abstract, minimal sound, and Japan sensitivities etc… for realizing the true happiness in heart.” – Shin’ichi Isohata
The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation is delighted to host Hiroe Saeki’s first UK solo show.
Hiroe Saeki’s work inhabits a liminal zone on the edges of the perceivable: monochromatic explorations of the subject of beauty in nature, delicate drawings with a weightless quality, sparse compositions evoking traditional aesthetics. Like a photograph, the totality of the artwork and the detail are valued equally.
The void is inherent in her work, allowing the microscopic and macroscopic viewpoint to coexist. Thus her chosen tool is the pencil: ephemeral because it can be erased, fluid because it is undefined, emancipating because there is no outline to follow.
In this exhibition, she presents a new body of work with graphite and water. The powdered graphite travels through capillaries of water: settling where and when the water evaporates, to be absorbed by the land of paper. The resulting surfaces recall water-carved planetary landscapes.
Saeki’s practice evokes associations with biological or mineral forms, such as geological sediments. Exquisite, miniscule lines take us to the nano level of the cellular structure of organisms. Combined with the serendipitous nature of her new graphite process, they take on a sense of the cosmic. This new work coalesces her vision of the world into a yearning to interconnect with the universe at all its scales.
Monday – Friday 9.30AM – 5PM
Hiroe Saeki (b. 1978, Osaka) currently lives and works in Berlin. Notable exhibitions include: Abstract and Empathy, Pola Museum, Tokyo 2019; Visions of Exchange: Daimler Contemporary, Berlin 2018; It’s Our Permanent Collection!, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo 2016; Now Japan, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort 2013 and the 242nd Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London 2010. Awarded Grants include: POLA Art Foundation Program of Overseas Study 2014; Daimler Foundation, Artist-in-residence Berlin 2010 and The VOCA Encouragement Prize in 2006. Collections: MoMA, New York; The Daimler Art Collection; Deutsche Bank; Doron Sebbag; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Miniature Museum (Netherlands); Toyota Art Collection; The UBS Art Collection.
Image credits: Untitled 2019, Pencil and graphite and acrylic and acrylic ink and Japanese ink on paper, 39x54cm © Hiroe Saeki
The Experience Japan Exhibition aims to introduce the growing range of study and research opportunities available in Japan.
This year,8 Japanese education institutions and several Japan-related organisations will be attending to provide information on degree programmes taught entirely in English, as well as on the research opportunities, summer courses and other options open to international students. There will also be a chance to find out about the variety of scholarships and research funding available to enable you to take advantage of these learning opportunities.
This year’s line-up of seminars will cover the basics about local life, as well as allow you to hear directly from individuals who have experienced studying or conducting research in Japan. Guest speakers will be delivering presentations that provide insights into Japanese language, as well as showcasing Japanese innovation. There will also be a special seminar on the ever-popular Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.
So come along and find your way to Japan – the experience of a lifetime awaits!
Online registration is recommended but not required. Pre-register via the link below to receive a special gift on the day of the exhibition.
Experience Japan Exhibition Website