My name is Helena I am from Belfast, N. Ireland. I arrived into Narita airport, Tokyo on Friday 7th Oct (2016). After travelling from Belfast I was a little disorientated regarding time/day but it was a very straight forward bus ride to Kichijoji where Yukie kindly met me at the bus station and we went straight to the Ongoing house where I am staying.
I spent the weekend exploring Kichijoji - not going anywhere near public transport, just spending a lot of time walking around the area and sitting in the near by park (Inokashira Park), soaking in my surroundings whilst recalibrating my internal clock. Feeling very inspired and welcomed here - thank you Ongoing!
On Monday Yukie and Sachiko kindly brought me to the final day of the Teratotera festival in Mitaka - all interactive works, it was really great to see some of the works that local artists are making and to meet some of the artists too.
Throughout the rest of the week I went to Harajuku, visiting the Meji Shrine. I also visited the Design Festa Gallery and explored the area - some parts being super busy, whilst others quiet. The juxtaposition of loud and quiet (visually and sonically) is very interesting here to me as someone from Ireland - I will go back here and record some audio samples.
Harajuku: Visting the Meji Shrine, 'Making Wishes'
Harajuku: Outside the Design Festa Gallery
Harajuku, zebra crossing
Harajuku Station, Meji Shrine and 70 hectares of forest grounds to left, bustling city to right...esp interesting after dark
I also visited Roppongi twice, spending one day at the Mori Art Museum which currently has a show entitled ‘The Universe and Art’, really interesting collection of works - I sat through one piece by teamLab 3 times, it just made me smile so much!
The second day I went to Take Ninagawa Gallery which is a small but beautiful gallery space, currently exhibiting works by sculptor Charlotte Posenenske. I then decided to walk from Roppongi, through Harajuku to Shinjuku...it gives me more of an idea of where areas are situated in relation to each other whilst soaking in my surroundings. I plan to explore Shinjuku further this week as I have only been to visit the two (really great) art stores situated there: ‘Tokyo Hands’ and ‘Sekaido’.
Roppongi: Louise Bourgeois 'Maman' sculpure outside Mori Art Museum
Roppongi: Below the Mori Tower
Walking into Shinjuku
A really great first week!!
Noh Theatre and No Limit
Noh actor shows us behind the scenes after Sumidagawa performance.
A couple of events from the No Limit Festival - R: Matsumoto Yuki's report on Bar wandering in Asia, L: Palestine Cafe
It's been a busy few weeks!
Here's a sneak peak of some collaboration with Ura-chan (you can find her work at http://urayaka.jimdo.com/)
We had some interesting conversations about interaction and communication.
I also visited Teratotera Sound Festival which was a great introduction to local musicians, performers and artists in this part of Tokyo. Highlights for me were the collaborative performance by Mikiko Kawamura & HIKO and also UJINO's milkshake-making-mechanical-music.
I was also lucky enough to sit in on a Hichiriki lesson at a traditional Japanese Instrument shop near Ouiji Station. It was so kind of Sachiko and Kimiko for taking me there and introducing me to traditional Japanese music! I was particularly interested in the singing part of the class, the use of syllables and how that might translate to the performance of the music on an instrument.
the colourful braiding on this Koto may also find its way into my work some how!
It was also very interesting to talk to Kimiko about Gagaku and the possible gendering of folk / courtly instruments. I hope to see her play Sho one day.
Some other notes (in no particular order):
- Yusuke Shibata's exhibition at Ongoing
- Trying Japanese whisky with Kaho and Yoko
- Giving a talk at 3331 Arts Chiyoda and meeting some sleepy robots
I will try and keep this blog more updated in the coming weeks!
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