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Communing

Lessons for Listening to
Voiceless Voices

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Communing

Lessons for Listening to Voiceless Voices

Curator : KENJI KUBOTA

This program is an online project undertaken as a bridge between the previous edition of Reborn-Art Festival (RAF) held in 2019 and the edition planned for 2021. The year 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Ten years ago, many precious lives in Ishinomaki were lost due to the huge tsunami. It has been ten years since that day. The survivors have strived to live while holding on to their memories from before that day and their thoughts ever since. Each and every one has their own poignant story, and none are the same. Such stories represent innumerable precious voices and memories that we cannot directly hear or see.

ISHINOMAKI CITY 2019

Titled “Communing—Lessons for Listening to Voiceless Voices,” this project streams a wide range of content, including poetry readings, songs, talks, and performances over three sessions. With Ishinomaki, the host region of Reborn-Art Festival, as its axis, the online project offers modest lessons for communicating, through what artists express, with various kinds of “voiceless voices” that exist in the world and that we cannot ordinarily perceive, including spirits, animals, nature, and others.

Ichico Aoba "Wind Room" from RAF 2019

Directing our consciousness to what we cannot see or hear, and utilizing our imaginations. Doing this is a matter of urgency now more than ever as the global coronavirus pandemic brings many kinds of issues to the fore, from environmental problems to social division, and discrimination, and the state of the world changes rapidly.

Through experiencing this project,
I hope that this world can feel closer and more intimate.

Curator
KENJI KUBOTA
Kenji Kubota is an independent curator since 2006 focused on art practice toward diverse fields of society. He worked as a curator of Ueno Royal Museum in Tokyo (1994-1999), and Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito in Ibaraki (2000-2006). He was an associate professor at the University of Tsukuba and initiated “Creative Reconstruction Project” (2012-2016). His curatorial practice focuses on how art could function in systems of society such as economy, education, and politics by using various cultural formats. He curated / co-curated many exhibitions such as “X-Color / Graffiti in Japan,” Art Tower Mito (2005), “Money Talk,” Hiroshima Contemporary Art Museum (2007-2008), “Roppongi Crossing 2010, Can there be Art?”, Mori Art Museum (2010), “Don't Follow the Wind,” inside Fukushima exclusion zone. (2015-), and “Asian Art Biennale – Negotiating the Future” National Taiwan Museum of Art (2017-2018). He is currently a board member of Kawamura Art and Cultural Foundation and parttime lecturer at Gakushuin Women’s College.

Gozo Yoshimasu

Poet. Born in 1939 in Tokyo, Japan. Gozo Yoshimasu graduated from the Department of Literary Studies at Keio University in 1945. Owing to the poetry magazine Drumcan to which he contributed while at university, he entered the world of poetry in the 1960s as a standard-bearer for poetry, projecting an image of rushing linguistic impulses on the verge of explosion. Since the publication of his debut poetry collection Departure in 1964, he has traveled to various regions of Japan and the world over half a century, shifting to the phase of incoporating the spirits of different lands and voices of others into his poetic space while continuing to create groundbreaking work at the forefront of contemporary poetry. His published poetry collections include Anthology of Golden Age Poetry; River Written in Cursive; Osiris, God of Stone; Helix Songs, and Kemono kun (little monster). In addition, he has written numerous works of literary criticism including I Am a Flaming Mirage and A Lifetime’s Path through Dreams: Walking with Orikuchi Shinobu, and is a pioneer of poetry recital performances in Japan and abroad. In recent years, Yoshimasu has broken new ground in works that sharpen the visual, auditory and other senses, such as omote-gami (Mainichi Art Award) that combines his own poetry with multi- exposure photos, video works known as gozo-ciné that function as documents of poems, and objects that involve letter engraving onto copper plate. In 2015, he was recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit, and was awarded the Imperial Prize and Japan Art Academy Prize. Yoshimasu is a member of the Japan Art Academy. His exhibitions include “The Voice Between: The Art and Poetry of Yoshimasu Gozo” held at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo in 2016 and “The Echoes from the Abyss: The Poems of Gozo Yoshimasu” held respectively at Ashikaga Museum of Art, Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, and the Shoto Museum of Art between 2017 and 2018.

Ichiko Aoba

Musician. Born in 1990. Releasing her first solo record in 2010, Ichiko has released 6 albums up until now. Her latest release was her album qp in 2018. Aside from her solo career, she has taken part in the studio session CD called Radio which was a collaboration with Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Shogo Oyamada and U-zhaan. She has also collaborated with beat maker Sweet William on their collaboration single Karakahi, as well as releasing under the name "NUUAMM" which is a unit she as with Mahitothepeople. In 2018, she had an Asian tour which took place in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, which became her third Asia tour in her career. She has also showed her talent in the advertisement world, doing music for Kewpie, Odakyu Line Romace Car, Tokyo Electron, and Tama Home. Not only that, she has also taken part in theater such as Hyakki Opera Rashomon, Watashi was Shingo, Reming -please take me to the edge of the world-. and cocoon. She was also chosen as the voice over for the main character Trixie in the short animation movie "Blade Rummer Blackout 2022”.

HANASAKI Kaya

HANASAKI Kaya born in Tokyo. She is currently based in Japan and other Asian countries. Hanasaki is a performance artist who also works on various mediums including projects, workshops, installations, video works, and more others. Hanasaki takes her own view of social, political, and cultural issues, which all have a profound influenced upon her to live in contemporary society. She reflects her thoughts to these issues in her works and activities. In 2012, She graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts with an M.F.A. In 2017, she was one of the founders of the cultural space ‘Ivy Palace’ in Taipei and managed it till 2019. The solo exhibition includes ‘My home, Our treasure’, Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei (2016), and her work has been included in group exhibitions such as ‘You (We) are Beautiful!’, Shinokubo UGO (2020), ‘Exposing the bushes’, TOKAS Hongo (2020).

Jun-Yang Li

Li was born in Taitung in 1967. His father was a painter of movie posters. He achieves to define his artistic creation with almost zero external artistic education, and has been engaged in colored drawing of temples, painting of movie posters, calligraphy, making heads of Taiwanese glove puppets, and multi-media installations. Traditional elements widely used in his works have not limited his creations. Being a boundary-pushing artist, Li has been challenging existing systems with perceptive observation and his creative momentum is free and expressive. For him, personality and attitude define one’s painting style. Painting technique is just a form. What is more important is to create while discovering the freedom of mind.

SWOON

Caledonia Curry, whose work appears under the name Swoon, is a Brooklyn-based artist and is widely known as the first woman to gain large-scale recognition in the male-dominated world of street art. Callie took to the streets of New York while attending the Pratt Institute of Art in 1999, pasting her paper portraits to the sides of buildings with the goal of making art and the public space of the city more accessible. In a moment when contemporary art often holds a conflicted relationship to beauty, Callie’s work carries with it an earnestness, treating the beautiful as sublime even as she explores the darker sides of her subjects. Her work has become known for marrying the whimsical to the grounded, often weaving in slivers of fairy-tales, scraps of myth, and a recurring motif of the sacred feminine. Tendrils of her own family history—and a legacy of her parents’ struggles with addiction and substance abuse—recur throughout her work. While much of Callie’s art plays with the fantastical, there is also a strong element of realism. This can be seen in her myriad social endeavors, including a long-term community revitalization project in Braddock, Pennsylvania and her efforts to build earthquake-resistant homes in Haiti through Konbit Shelter. Her non-profit, the Heliotrope Foundation, was created in order to further support these ventures. Today, Callie’s work can be found on the sides of buildings worldwide and has been given both permanent and transient homes in more classical institutions, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Tate Modern, and the São Paulo Museum of Art. Most recently, she has begun using film animation to explore the boundaries of visual storytelling.

Toshiaki Ishikura

The anthropologist Toshiaki Ishikura is an associate professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Akita University of Art, and a research fellow at Meiji University’s Institut pour la Science Sauvage. He has conducted research on saints and mountain worship in India, Nepal, and the Tohoku region of Japan, developing research on comparative mythology in the Pacific Rim. In parallel to this, Ishikura travels and conducts fieldwork in collaboration with various artists, exploring the possibilities for art in human activities ongoing for tens of thousands of years. His co-authored books include Cosmo-Eggs: Uchu no tamago—Korekutibu igo no ato (Cosmo-Eggs: Post-Collective Art) (torch press, 2020), Lexcion—Gendai jinruigaku (Lexicon—Contemporary Anthropology) (Ibunsha, 2018), and Yasei meguri—Retto shinwa o meguru juni no tabi (A Tour of the Wild: Twelve Journeys Around Myths of the Archipelago) (Tankosha, 2015). Ishikura’s exhibition credits include “Cosmos-Eggs” at the Japan Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), “The Ecology of Expression: Remaking Our Relations with the World” (Arts Maebashi, 2019), and “Spirit of ‘North’ vol.10” (Rovaniemi Art Museum, 2019).

Lieko Shiga

Born in 1980 in Aichi Prefecture. Graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London in 2004. Has lived in Miyagi Prefecture since 2008. Major exhibitions include “Rasen Kaigan” (solo show, Sendai Mediatheque, 2012), “In the Wake” (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2015), “New Photography 2015” (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015), “Blind Date” (solo show, Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, 2017) and “Human Spring” (solo show, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, 2019).

Fuyuki Yamakawa

Born in London in 1973, Fuyuki Yamakawa is based in Yokohama. His work transcends the boundaries of music, contemporary art, and performing arts with forms of expression that appeal to our senses of sight and hearing as well as cutaneous sensation. Yamakawa is known as a master of khoomei, a traditional type of Tuvan throat singing. He has staged performances in sixteen countries, presenting such work as one that transforms his heartbeat into light and music through an electronic stethoscope, and another that amplifies the vibration inside his skull through a bone conduction microphone. In the field of contemporary art, Yamakawa’s work includes The Voice-over, which deals with memories of voice in relation to mass media and the individual, and “Pa”nishi-ment (2011–), which will reach completion when the ownership of the sound of the syllable “pa” as pronounced by the artist is sold to an art collector for ¥1 million. Yamakawa also engages in long-term projects at Oshima Seisho-en Sanatorium for leprosy patients and, as a member of Grand Guignol Mirai, the “difficult-to-return zone” in Fukushima.

OUTLINE

Reborn-Art Festival 2021-22
Altruism and Fluidity

Festival Period

Online : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 –
SUMMER : Wednesday, August 11, 2021 – Sunday, September 26, 2021
SPRING : Saturday, April 23, 2022 – Sunday, June 5, 2022
※ The exhibitions may be closed to the public for maintenance on certain dates.


Venues

Summer
2021
Central Ishinomaki
Oshika Peninsula
(Momonoura, Oginohama, Kozumihama, Ayukawa, and other locations)

Spring
2022
Ishinomaki

Organizers:

Reborn-Art Festival Executive Committee,
ap bank

Grants:

The Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2021

Web direction
JUNYA KATO
(PARK GALLERY)