Ayukawa is at the southern end of the Oshika Peninsula, about a one-hour drive from the city center. There is a spectacular sea view of Kinkasan Island, one of the three great mystical sites of Oshu (the old name of northeastern Honshu). Off the coast of Kinkasan is one of the world’s three most abundant fisheries, where the Kuroshio and Oyashio ocean currents meet, and the area once flourished as a base for whaling. The Ayukawahama Visitors Center is scheduled to open here in September 2019.
The town of Ayukawa in Oshika Peninsula witnessed monumental changes during the major earthquake eight years ago, and is again entering a period of profound transformation as reconstruction efforts progress. It is a town being shaped to look completely different to how it was previously. Even amidst such changes, there are things that should not be lost or forgotten. This is where art enters the stage. Some things cannot be seen without focusing one’s attention, or heard without straining one’s ears. Some things are overlooked in times of haste, while others are discarded when they become troublesome. For this exhibition, we have invited artists who are able to find such ephemeral things and events while residing in Ayukawa and contemplating the town. Of importance in this year’s theme, “Inochi no Tezawari” (texture of life) is the Japanese syllable “ざ” (“za”) in the word “tezawari” (texture). Not to be confused with the word “tesawari” (meaning “a sense of touch”), it refers to a world of voices or “murmurs” (also expressed with the syllable “ざ”) that is a testament to being alive. While verifying this layered world, we will try to capture its existence.
Artist. Born in 1969 in Kobe, Japan. After living in Berlin, Germany for 12 years, Shimabuku moved to Naha in 2017 where he is currently based. From the beginning of the 1990s, he has travelled to various places in Japan and overseas, creating performances and installations that consider the daily lives and cultures of people he encounters, as well as new forms of communication. Full of poetic sentiment and humor while also inspiring people in metaphorical ways, his style has gained a worldwide reputation. Shimabuku has participated in group shows at Centre Pompidou in Paris and Hayward Gallery in London, and in numerous international exhibitions including Venice Biennale (2003, 2017), the São Paulo Biennial (2006), Havana Biennal (2015) and Lyon Biennale (2017). He also participated in the previous Reborn-Art Festival, presenting a work called Erect at Norihama in Ayukawa. Large-scale solo exhibitions are planned in 2020 throughout Europe. His work is in the collections of various art museums and art centers, including Centre Pompidou and Noveau Musee National de Monaco in Monaco. His books include Opening the Door (Little More Books), and the picture book Cucumber Journey (Shogakukan).