Wednesday, August 10, 2005

art news for August 10

Hi folks,
I just got this press release from my friend Kate in Japan...looks like a great show. I am sorry I will miss it.
thanks for reading. have a great day. --Suzy


Iwate Kokaido Art Show
12th - 21st August 2005.
Iwate-ken Kokaido - Iwate Prefecture Civic Hall
11-2 Uchimaru, Morioka, Iwate, Japan.
tel: 019-623-4681
opening party 12th August, 2-8 pm

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show 2005 is an exciting artist led experiment in providing a joint stage for a historical building and contemporary artists.
9 internationally renowned artists based in Iwate prefecture will exhibit site specific installations in the recently rescued old Iwate-ken Kokaido (Iwate Prefecture Civic Hall) complimented by a series of live music, dance, video and performance events, 5 "art cafés" a live interactive “Photo Art Board”, and artists` talks.
Admission to all the Kokaido Art Show exhibits, performances and events is free and open to all. So please come along and join the fun.
for more information on the Kokaido Art Show please go to

Founded in 1927 Iwate-ken Kokaido designed by Dr. Koichi Sato, retains its original art deco style both inside and outside the building.
It`s architectural value, recording the transition from modern to contemporary design, is considerably enhanced by its historical value as a cultural and social centre for citizens over the last 78 years.
Resisting proposals to demolish the building, the Iwate-ken Kokaido has been saved and designated as historical architecture in need of preservation.
In order to achieve the goal of restoring and preserving it for future generations we need to use it well now and heighten public awareness of its importance.

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show has therefore been conceived as a meeting place to provide many people with opportunities to learn more about the Iwate-ken Kokaido, to be acquainted with contemporary art, and to meet the artists living in this area and interpreting the diverse cultural climate of Iwate.
In order to make the event accessible to a wide range of people admission to all the Kokaido Art Show exhibits, performances and events is free.

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show Executive Committee itself represents quite a cross section of the local community including the participating artists, town planners, architects, designers, dancers, performers, several NPOs, businesses, etc.. So far organising the event has been a lot of fun, all the people involved are full of great ideas and loads of energy.

All the visual and performing artists have overcome the basic problems of the site and limited budgets, by coming up with really exciting installation and performance ideas which address the architectural, social, cultural, historical, contemporary and potential contexts of the unique site.
Responding to this challenging situation has been a refreshing chance to rethink established ideas and styles, and we are all looking forward to research feedback on new ideas from a very mixed audience beyond the limited ‘art audience’ for more conventional museum, gallery, concert or theatre venues.

Several events in the main hall include:
a Dance and Video Performance In 100 years time for the opening ceremony at 4pm on 12th August.
And as the finale on 21st August World Music Performance from 11am
and from 4pm a Charity Art Auction where members of the public can buy direct from the artists who are donating 30% of the sale price to the cost of running the Kokaido Art Show. With prices for original art works ranging from 2,000 yen to 2 million yen you too can become an art collector.
There will also be a docomo mobile bar code treasure hunt – but we can`t give many of the details about that away until after it has happened!

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show "art café" extends the festival atmosphere:
5 different Morioka restaurants and cafes will provide food and drink in temporary art orientated annexes in 5 sites within the venue featuring:
  • live music and performance events
  • a series of artists` talks
  • and a big screen internet connection to follow public contributions to the
  • live interactive “Photo Art Board” which will be running on the Kokaido web site.
-When people who visit the Kokaido Art Show send us an e-mail and photo from their cell phone within a few seconds their message and photo-image will appear on our web site and the screen.
(If you make a donation of 1,000 yen or more your message also comes up with the pink sponsor mark.)

There is no private view, all Kokaido Art Show exhibitions and events are open to all. So please come along and join the fun.
Although the web site is not yet complete it is already up and running
so for more information on the Kokaido Art Show please go to
and for artists` short CVs and images please go to

Iwate Kokaido Art Show 12th - 21st August 2005 Artists` Comments

Hironori Katagiri - Embracing Defeat - a sound installation on the theme of Emperor Hirohto`s broadcast to the Japanese people on surrender
in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, Malay, and Indonesian.
“After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure. We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.” (Extract from Emperor Hirohito’s speech, August 15th, 1945)
(NB before the war the Iwate Kokaido building was converted into a temporary Imperial residence for Emperor Hirohito`s 5 day visit to Iwate.
For his installation Katagiri is using the “Special Room” the Emperor slept in).

Kate Thomson - A Maze of Relative Perceptions - an installation using styrofoam, re-cycled English, Japanese, Arabic and Korean newspapers, marble, and color kinetic diode light.
A maze of ‘relative perceptions’ framing space and creating a kind of theatre set for life. Challenging viewers to look again at the space and their relationship with their environment and each other and discover changing perspectives and perceptions both in the immediate and wider contexts.
As the Kokaido Art Show as a whole can be perceived as a collaboration between art and architecture, I decided to invite four students from the Architecture Department, Iwate Prefecture Junior College of Industry and Technology to collaborate with me on the maze project:
Tomomi Houchi, Yumi Kudo, Maki Dosaka, and Kazuya Fukushi. They have been wonderful to work with.

Takuya Okada - Aggregation, Accumulation and Diffusion 2005 - a dynamic structural design using pieces of bamboo
If I had been offered one hundred pieces of bamboo and told that I could use them freely, I would surely have spent a sleepless night in over excitement. I was such a kid. Since the Iwate Kokaido Art Show takes place during the summer vacation, which is an ideal time to go back to those days and feel like a kid again, I would like to do something different and enjoy artwork in a pure sense.

Minako Ishikawa - Characters as a line, Characters as a meaning: 00508 Iwate-ken Kokaido - an installation of historical fragments related to Kokaido
I am happy to be offered an opportunity to take part in the Iwate Kokaido Art Show, which is held inside this historical building. Since childhood I have always felt a kind of awe and longing towards this marvelous building. It was mainly its appearance that fascinated me, but this time I would also like to do some research on its history and surroundings.

Kazue Sato - untitled - a poetic space of light and shadow made from flat bars of steel
Combining steel and wire netting (usually used as building materials) to make a structure within a building, allowing the interior atmosphere to merge into the gentle curve of the steel. I would like to create something hard and soft, something light and heavy, and a place that is both present and absent at the same moment.

Hisashi Momose - Reversible Painting: Alternate Double - a series of reversible abstract paintings sandwiched between sheets of glass and suspended through the space
Art should be an _expression, an invention of methodology, and also a sublime revelation.

Takeshi Honda - Mountain Life-Rice - an installation of houses made of rice
I have drawn a series of paintings related to rice farming, and among them is a picture portraying a house made of rice. Having learned that nearly half of the budget for building the Civic Hall came from citizens` donations, I’ve come to see a link between this building and rice (which used to be a basic unit of capital). I would like to place a small house made of rice inside this hall, and ponder on its dramatic history and rice culture of this country.

Megumi Honda - Gesture - an ordinary place dotted with extraordinary ‘objets d`art
I was wondering if it might be possible to see a space in a new light, a space within an old building which has become lifeless and inorganic through its long history, by putting some alien object inside. I also hope that its de-familiarising effect might shed light upon its future use.

Shin’ichi Mori - Iwate-ken Kokaido 2005 - using photography and water
An installation of photographic images and water recording the present state of the Civic Hall after 78 years time.

Plus Masahi Nagai The Swinging Twenties
Professor of architecture Masashi Nagai will exhibit a collage of images of 1920s architecture, design, transport systems, etc. as a thesis on the cultural climate of Japan in relationship to international developments during the period the Iwate-ken Kokaido was built. With reference to the arts and crafts movement and social as well as design functionalism, one of his aims is to encourage debate on whether architecture is still as topically modern and socially aware as it was in the 1920s.