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FUTURE IS PRIMITIVE – Skateboard and Shakuhachi
The UK and European premiere of Japanese film maker Katsuya Nonaka’s skateboard and shakuhachi documentary ‘Future is Primitive’ will take place at London’s House of Vans on 9 September, with a second showing following at London Doomed Gallery on 13 September.
Yes, director Nonaka’s unusual 50 minute film examines the common ground between skateboarding and shakuhachi playing! Nonaka himself is both a skateboarder and shakuhachi player. Indeed he will also be making his London live debut at IKLECTIK on 11 September, where he will be performing in a duo with German cellist Ute Kanngiesser.
In Future is Primitive, Nonaka talks to leading skaters from all around the world, as well as Japanese and non-Japanese players of the traditional bamboo flute, the shakuhachi. In the course of his dialogues he discovers some common ground between these two seemingly very different activities: namely the outside commercial pressures both are now encountering due to a combination of prestige and rising popularity. Regarding the shakuhachi, for example, a new version is being manufactured which is easier to play alongside Western orchestral instruments. Re skateboarding, it has just been confirmed that it will be recognised as a sport in 2020’s Tokyo Olympics.
Anticipating its changing status, director Katsuya Nonaka’s film asks how will growing acceptance signalled by its official recognition as an Olympic sport affect skateboarding’s original status as a street activity? Similarly, will new forms of shakuhachi retuned for Western ears ultimately be at the expense of its defining tonal character? This is not a film about Japan, UK or the USA, adds Nonaka. It is about “our future”.
Katsuya Nonaka will be attending both screenings, where he will be participating in a Q&A with Daphne Greca, from Brixton’s Baddest skateboard shop at Future is Primitive’s premiere at House of Vans on 9 September; and a second Q&A at Doomed Gallery (13), presenter TBC.
Future is Primitive is undeniably a labour of love for shakuhachi and skateboarding on Katsuya Nonaka’s behalf. Presently based in Niigata, Japan, Nonaka is a professional shakuhachi player, rice farmer, translator, cartoonist, illustrator and film director. Being a man of many professions, he describes himself as a Hyakusho. Literally translating as a man who has more than one hundred jobs, Hyakusho is the Japanese word for peasant. Nonaka studied shakuhachi with the world renowned master Atsuya Okuda. He is also a member of The Seppuku Pistols, who play Edo era punk on Japanese traditional instruments. It goes without saying that Katsuya Nonaka is a skateboarding enthusiast.
He made it as below…
Official trailer: futureisprimitive.com
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