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 Special feature on Tokyo culture, global and leading edge 

The main project of Mons 2015, Home & Away introduced audiences to the contemporary culture of eight world cities – London, Milan, Lille, Casablanca, Montreal, Melbourne, Pilsen and Tokyo – through wide-ranging arts programs.

            Home & Away – Tokyo featured such participants as the creative production Groundriddim including young DJs and musicians curated by Thomas Duchatelet and Kyomi Ichida, formely of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, and Passerelle-Japon, based in Liège, Belgium, which works to acquaint the public with Japanese culture, in a wide-ranging program encompassing such fields as traditional culture, contemporary art, street culture, fashion, music, dance and cuisine. Home & Away aggregated the appeal of Tokyo the multifaceted global city that presents numerous faces from the traditional to the contemporary. Drawing 5200 visitors over ten days, it proved the most popular of the eight Home & Away projects.


15-25 Oct. 2015


Maison Folie of Mons

Produced by:

Thomas Duchatelet (associated curator of Tokyo Week) Kyomi ICHIDA (associated curator of Tokyo Week) GROUND RIDDIM (Japan)


Three works from Van Gogh's Borinage period discovered in Japan   

Vincent van Gogh, at the time aspiring to join the clergy, spent the years 1878-80 in the Borinage coalmining region outside Mons proselytizing. It was here that he abandoned preaching and, after anguished thought, decided to live as an artist.

            Focusing on Van Gogh's Borinage period, this show featured 70 works, including drawings and paintings depicting coalminers, peasants and the Borinage landscape, as well as letters written by the artist. Playing a key role in the success of the exhibition were three significant works of the period whose whereabouts were long reckoned uncertain but were purchased several years ago by a Japanese museum from a private collector.

            The opening of the exhibition, held as part of the main program of the Mons 2015 opening ceremony, was attended by the King and Queen of the Belgians. It enjoyed much exposure in the media and welcomed 180,000 visitors.


25 Jan. - 17 May 2015


BAM (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mons)

Collection from Japan:

“Cottage with Peasant Woman Digging“ 1885, oil on canvas, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum “The End of the Day (after Millet)” 1889, oil on canvas, Menard Art Museum , Komaki-city, Japan “Reaper with Sickle (after Millet)” 1880, drawing, Uehara Museum of Modern Art , Shimoda, Japan


Japanese break beats and digital art night highlight closing ceremony   

GroundRiddim is a creative group working in music and the visual arts made up of diverse DJ's, musicians, engineers, directors, graphic designers and illustrators. At the VIA Festival, a label project of Mons 2015 featuring performing arts and the latest technologies, one of the group's musicians, KEIZO machine!, gave an audiovisual performance titled “Japanese's Style”. The sound and images brimming with inspiration from KEIZO machine! unfolded dynamically on a giant screen and thrilled the full-house audience with the fun and stimulating fancy of a trip around the world.


20 Mar. 2015


La gare numérique  (Jeumont, France)

Japanese artists:

Colo Graphonic, KeizoMachine, Gufumonn, Jami G, Taro Mikami, Yuya Ozawa http://groundriddim.com/


Contemporary culmination features extensive digital art  

Café Europa is a “new technology space” set up on the occasion of Mons 2015. The space is fitted out with internet connections, 3D printers and even a laser cutter, and links to other European cities via a large screen. Visitors encounter high-tech equipment and leading-edge technology. Nine artists were invited to take up residencies at Café Europa and pursued unique activities eliciting its potential. One was dancer and media artist Hiroaki Umeda, who won tremendous popularity with a work in progress, inviting residents and tourists dropping by to experience his visual installation consisting of such elements as projections onto eyelids and digital imagery of choreography. In a collaboration with a local digital firm, Umeda also installed an audio-visual work inside a dome-shaped art space operated by human sensory functions. The opening welcomed many visitors, who enjoyed sound and video pieces that played out around the 360° interior of the dome. Erected in a courtyard at the Conservatoire Mons, a local arts university, the dome became the locus of lively discussions between Umeda and local art students and experts.


11 -26 Oct. 2015


Cafe Europe, Dome and Oculus

Japanese artist:

Hiroaki Umeda

Works in Exhibition:

- Haptic Installation - kinesis #1 - screen firld

Works in Live Creation:

- kinesis #1 - screen field Multi MOnitor version - kinesis #2 (tentative) - Intensional Particle installation version (tentative)

Related Programme:


Schedule:15-25 Oct. 2015 Venue:Cafe Europe


Schedule:22-25 Oct. 2015 Venue:Dome


Encouraged friendship and future between youth people through songs  

International Youth in Concert is a music program for children that began in 2004 on the occasion of that year's European Capital of Culture. For the sake of fostering the children who will lead future generations, choral groups from Europe and Japan have built the program up together since then with the cooperation of the several European Capitals of Culture.

      The location of this year's European Capital of Culture at Mons, Belgium, led to a joint performance by Les Petits Chanteurs de Belgique from Wallonia, Men's Choir Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino from Flanders, and Children's Chorus Piccolo from Japan. Conductor Tsutomu Masuko and Flanders Center Director Bernard Catrysse made an advance visit to Mons to work out details with local organizers of everything from the itinerary to concert programs and then prepared for the actual visit. Making their first overseas visits, the members of Piccolo would experience homestays with local families. Despite arriving in the middle of the night due to a flight delay, they received a warm welcome from their host families, whose smiles and kind feelings and greetings gave them great encouragement beyond differences in language. The three groups all sang together as the finale of their performance to a full house. We are certain that for children from the different linguistic backgrounds of Flemish, French and Japanese, managing to share the joy of creating a single musical experience both gave them great confidence and will prove a valuable experience going forward.


16-22 Sep. 2015


Aalst, Mons


Children’s Chorus “Piccolo” (Japan) Royal Boys’ and Men’s Choir Cantate Domino(Aalst, Belgium) http://www.cantatedomino.com/ Les Petits Chanteurs de Belgique (Mons, Belgium) http://www.lespetitschanteursdebelgique.be/


16-21 Sep. 2015HomestayAalst
19 Sep. 2015Joint concertAalst
20 Sep. 2015Joint concertEglise Sainte-Elisabeth church, Mons

Young Japanese poets take up challenge of poetry slam!  

The International Poetry Slam Tournament pitted teams of three poets each in readings of their work. Each poet had three minutes to present a reading, and the audience awarded points to judge the competition. Twenty-four teams took part from such countries as France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany and Britain. The sole non-European team was from Japan, consisting of Jo Tachibana, Mizuki Misumi and Takeo Oshima, taking part in their first competition. The Japanese team's works and performances were well received, and win followed win until they were edged out in the semifinal round. The three-day competition brought poets together from around the world to a place of vibrant communication matching their verse against each other, discussing poetry and talking.


27 -29 Mar. 2015


Maison Folie

Japanese poets:

Mizuki Misumi


Takeo Ohshima


Joh Tachibana



Contemporary dance prodigy Hiroaki Umeda develops as artist-in-residence 

Held on a continuing basis in Mons, Belgium, and Maubeuge, France, the VIA Festival features the performing arts and the latest technologies. As a component of Mons 2015, this year the festival hosted contemporary dancer and visual artist Hiroaki Umeda at a one-month residency at La gare numerique, located in the Maubeuge suburb of Jeumont. Co-located with a railway station, La gare numerique is an art center for media art, science, education and research. After crafting his new dance piece “Intensional Particle” in this well-equipped creative space, Umeda debuted it at the VIA Festival, where it delivered a major stimulus. He then captivated large numbers with the same piece at such locations as Stereolux in Nantes and Mapping Festival 2015 in Geneva.


Date: 15 Feb. - 18 Mar. 2015 Venue: La gare numérique  (Jeumont, France)

Performance (VIA Festival):

Date: 19-20 Mar. 2015 Venue: Andrée Malraux Theater (Jeumont, France) Program: new piece


Hiroaki Umeda http://hiroakiumeda.com/

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