2017.01.20 Friday

My New Year 2016-17 in Japan (part 1)


    Most of offices and shops were closed ,everyone went back to their 'home'.


    My pesidency time period is between 2016-17 ,so it's very lucky for me to experienced the japanese countdown and new year in this transitional time. 

    from Dec 20 , i could felt that people start to have countdown mentality in thier mind.Same as aother country-It s PARTY time - to farewell the old year and welcome the new year (new life? that they believed.). This Part 1 will show you about my experiences that i had from last week of 2016 til the countdown time to 2017.



    Tsukiji Fish market - the most recommend to check out and here,you can smell the freshness.


    I went to Tsukiji with Nishioka-san and Kaho ( They are Teratotera volunteer) to shopping a fish for forget the year party food for Teratotera members at night

    we met up very early and Nishioka-san,he s a guy who expert in this area and he's a guide for this trip (He 's the one who a special cheif for party as well).  

    tourist are not allowed to take a photo in restricted area , because this market is not design for visitor or tourist ,so pathway quite narrow and 'rocket car' and many workers always move and working.it may cause of accident or disturb to their work.During the walk inside we have to keep an eyes on and be careful.



    Gotcha .In this Santa bag included, big fish and ice. it was about 4-5 kg.


    nearby fish market, there is a famous japanese omelet shop, so crowded customers and we bought this for our party too.


    After finished shopping ,we went to sushi restaurant around Tsukiji area for lunch. Nishioka-san recommneded this one ,old school sushi bar. We were not disappoint. it was awesome tasty.


    Party time! NIshioka-san stands up for opening speech. Kanpai!


    yellow shirt girl is my super-research assistant, Kaho.


    Here we goooo. so i thought my tongue can dance that moment.



    Nextday , Christmas eve's. I went out at night with Kenji (my friend and national artist in parallel universe).

    it was little despair because for christmas eve night out it should be a date for love couple. But..... 

    Anyway.we went out to visit a gallery in Asakusa.They had opening exhibition event of Rirkrit ,Yoko Ono and other artists 's art work.



    After that we hung out at Sensoji temple and drinking with izakaya style. yeah under freezing weather.



    "fake beer , mix before drink" Kenji said.

    I was drunk and i had a super hangover in the next morning.


    28 December , Ongoing Art Center BIG PARTY. Very big meeting party of Ongoing Collective ,there was full house of friends and unlimited beer and alcohol formular. Yeahhh

    Don't think, just drink ,laugh and forget the year



    Nozomu was giving his speech "Thank you everyone and Ongoing going to be 9 years anniversary next year..." wow


    someone died in duty on second floor.


    And finally , 31 Dec 2016 - Countdown night!

    Tokyo countdown time is not so popular for public countdown celebration. there was no big event or big fire work show this time difference frome other big city. In general , it's pretty quite atmosphere ,less people on the street , shops were closed. Japanese people prefer to stay at home with family than party outside. Unexpected surprise to me , I was almost alone that night but i still had Kenji,the dude. 

    No where to go then we decided to Asakusa zone again. This is a new Tokyo tower.


    Many thousands of people went to Sensoji temple to make a wish and pray for new year coming

    Kenji said it was very impressive time and great moment to countdown,so he brought me to themepark and saw local comedians show 30 mins before countdown and then yeah Booom "Happy new year 2017" ..Wat!... a Super _ucking impressive i ever experienced

    traditional new year sake' drink

    back to Sensoji again ,to make a wish.

    Bought a holy item , depend on what kind of power you what to pump up to your life



    All it was about hard party time and impressive memory ;-)


    Ok,that's it for this part. Thank for reading

    See you next vol.  

    2017.01.12 Thursday



      first conversation in Japan with this guy at Haneda airport shuttle bus station - so lost in translation but somehow we can understand to not understand by common and context.


      Hello anyone who reading this Ongoing AIR blog 

      My name is Yhod (nickname) ,Thawiphat Praengoen.From Thailand the land of madness and magical insanity.

      I have got great opportunity to being participated in Ongoing Residency Program for two months ,Dec 2016-Feb 2017 for research and making a exhibition in final month. 


      I have been here almost a month now. From now on i will write "blog" to share about some of my experiences and ideas that i got from this extraordinary time.   

      This is a first vol. 




      This is a first time in Japan, the first world country. Ofcourse, I had cultural shock somtimes and I had to learn fast automatically about the new 'order' and social perception as a new language and conciousness to fit in and living here smoothly. The first week ,it was very intense and exciting for me. Following these are some examples I want to share.


      I had to download this pix and saved in my phone to keep remind and recognize about signs of each garbage type


      As you known, Japan has strict and complicate about garbage separation system.Less and specific bin in public.I come from the country that people and city not so serious about garbage seperation and recycle management,so I had to keep focus and learn this system works ASAP. Garbage cannot be just thrown away into a bin anymore,it s a task and public responsbility. 


       Very convenince and predictable time for travel ,if you can use train by urself.                 I had to tune up my walking speed more 50% to catch up Japanese speed.


      Even walking and public transportation have thier own convention and order in detail as well. 


      "Zoooddddd Zoooooooooddd......"                                                                                      " Oishi iii iii....."


      Eating noodles and soup in proper Japanese way is not easy because you have to make "sound" during eat. Level of loud will show how good the food delicious and taste , it's like a compliment and thankful for chief.   

      Eating quitely is impolite and seem like disrespectful or showing this food not so good. 

      it's very hard for me. this so opposite to my culture. Everytime after finishing the meal I would fix this feeling by saying thank you and Oishiii directly.



      Japan is a very hi-tech country. we can see advanced-machine and innovation in everydaylife so many things. Electronic-Toilet is one of them. First time experienced I got very awkward feeling. But now we are best friend ,especially the warming seat system, it's a answer of fundamental humankind problem, sitting on toilet in winter will never be the same,here.



      Next time I will write my experince about New Year time in Japan 2016-17


















      2016.11.23 Wednesday

      Helena Hamilton: Week 5/6/7


        Week 5/6/7


        I will be installing my work Monday and Tuesday next week.  Throughout my time here I have begun researching and creating a new body of work - following the materials that I chose to use - paper and sound.  I have found the minimalist Japanese design, fashion and iconography very inspiring.


        The work that I will show at Ongoing is the beginnings of this new body of work, running themes of repetition, simplicity, order and effect.  One of my main experiences here has been the juxtaposition of a uniquely defined and extremely successful structure within the masses of people, happenings and places - I have never before experienced order like here in Tokyo, where no matter how busy, loud or intense a given space is there is never disorder, and this order is followed in a very diligent and polite manner.  Without consciously meaning to, this has become evident in the work that I am producing through different strategic decisions made throughout the process of experimenting and creating.  It is often the way within my practice that only when I take time to write and reflect on how and what I am creating that I begin to see these links in the chain of experience and creation.


        This work will continue to develop when I return home.

        2016.11.07 Monday

        Helena Hamilton: Week 2/3/4


          Helena Hamilton: Week 2/3/4


          I realise I didn’t introduce my work in the last post - here is a link to my website: www.helenahamilton.com


          Throughout week 2, 3 and 4 I have further explored areas including Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno and Ryogoku.  I visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum to see the current  exhibition ‘The Art is in the Detail: Art Deco and the Former Prince Asaka Residence’ and Christian Boltanski’s exhibition ‘Animitas– Les âmes qui murmurent’.  I’ve been a fan of Christian Boltanski’s work for years so it was really great to see.  I also went to see the works on show at 3331 Arts Chiyoda for the Japan Media Arts Festival 20th anniversary ‘Power to Change’ exhibition and the Open Space 2016: Media Conscious exhibition at the ICC. 


          Christian Boltanski


          Teien Art Museum






          Toshogu Shrine, Ueno



          Inokashira Park




          Sachiko kindly met me one weekend and brought me to one of the oldest paper shops in Tokyo - Itoya.  I’m very interested in paper and plastic here and and currently developing work using both. 


          Itoya store - paper



          I have been concentrating more on the source whether it be sonically or visually e.g. creating more sculptural works and recording a lot of audio which I am currently composing a sound piece with. When composing sound works I sketch how I feel a work should develop whilst listening to the recordings, then follow the sketch as I create the work, see image below. I’m very interested in how this will further develop.


          Audio plan



          2016.10.17 Monday

          Week 1


            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!


            Inokashira Park


            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, visiting the Meji Shrine

            Harajuku: Visting the Meji Shrine, 'Making Wishes'


            Harajuku St



            Harajuku_ Design Festa Gallery

            Harajuku: Outside the Design Festa Gallery


            Harajuku_Zebra Crossing

            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

            Roppongi: Louise Bourgeois 'Maman' sculpure outside Mori Art Museum



            Roppongi: Below the Mori Tower



            Roppongi: Cranes


            Walk to Shinjuku

            Walking into Shinjuku


            A really great first week!!