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SAUNA in the middle of the Esplanade! When Mr.Hayashi came to Riga and had a choice to get know Latvian culture in person, he was amazed how many things there are in common in Latvian and Japanese ancient cultures. But still there were also lot of things different. These two aspects were taking into consideration when the idea was born. The clash of two worlds that generates a new one by merging together understanding for traditions, importance of power of nature and human. In fall 2014, in a very city center in one of fountains of Esplenade onsen will be built. This interactive installation will be as paraphrase for public bathing. In Japan this is onsen, in Latvia this is swimming pool, because Latvian sauna requires privacy. You go into the sauna only with people that are close to you: relatives or people whom you like and trust. On the one hand this interactive installation demonstrates respect for nature, on the other hand ambitions to take a control of it.  City inhabitants and guests will have a possibility to take a shower in a log cabin and then enjoy outdoor wood-fired bath.


3-12 Oct. 2014


Esplanāde http://www.vietas.lv/eng/objekts/esplanade/


Hayashi Yasuhiko (Japan), Aigars Bikše (Latvia)

Artist's profile:

Yasuhiko Hayashi  The artist Yasuhiko Hayashi was born in 1971 in Higashiosaka. In 2001 he graduated from Planning Design Department, Faculty of Fine Arts of Kyoto City University of Arts. In 2001 together with Yusuke Nakano they established an art unit called Paramodel. Drawing on the industrial landscape of their native East Osaka, the members of artist collective Paramodel create dense but playful micro-worlds. Their work typically involves reorganizing everyday materials, such as toy railway tracks or plumbing tubes, into vast and complex systems covering the floors, walls and ceilings of gallery spaces, often creeping down hallways and into gardens. Paramodel’s modular systems are able to occupy any given space and are alive to their site: local communities are often invited to assist in the construction of the works, while elements of the location can be included as subject and material. Paramodel has had solo exhibitions in Japan and took part in group exhibitions all over the world. Their works can be found in several public collections. http://www.moriyu-gallery.com/artists/profile.html?artist_id=3&l=jp
With an exhibition, events' programme and objects in the city contemporary art festival "Survival Kit 6" will look at the city as utopia – place that does not exist, but that one wishes to reach. Pointing out social, urban, political and economic aspects of utopias, festival will search for ideas and possibilities to design our city together.
"Survival Kit" is a reoccurring art festival, organized since 2009, when it began as a reaction to global economic crisis, forcing public to find new strategies of survival and encouraging artists to define modes of existence.
Sound artist and performer Ryoji Ikeda will present an audio-visual performance "datamatics [ver 2.0]" in Riga reflecting on the topic of the festival - city as utopian space.

Ryoji Ikeda performance

  Date: 7 Sep. 2014 Venue:  Cinema Splendid Palace Program: datamatics [ver 2.0]  

Festival information

  Date: 4-27 Sep. 2014 Venue: Vāgnera Hall (Vecriga) and former Boļševička Textile Factory (Ganību dambis 30, Riga) Local organizer: Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) www.lcca.lv *More details:   www.survivalkit.lv  

Artist profile

Ryoji Ikeda Ryoji Ikeda is a Japanese sound artist who lives and works in Paris. Ikeda's music is concerned primarily with sound in a variety of "raw" states, such as sine tones and noise, often using frequencies at the edges of the range of human hearing. The conclusion of his album +/- features just such a tone; of it, Ikeda says "a high frequency sound is used that the listener becomes aware of only upon its disappearance" (from the CD booklet). Rhythmically, Ikeda's music is highly imaginative, exploiting beat patterns and, at times, using a variety of discrete tones and noise to create the semblance of a drum machine. His work also encroaches on the world of ambient music; many tracks on his albums are concerned with slowly evolving soundscapes, with little or no sense of pulse. In addition to working as a solo artist, he has also collaborated with, among others, Carsten Nicolai (under the name "Cyclo.") and the art collective Dumb Type. His work matrix won the Golden Nica Award in 2001. www.ryojiikeda.com
Reconsider the Nature and Art with the different perspectives of Japan and Latvia Japanese artist Masaaki Nishi is recognised for his manifest respect for nature, and nature continues to be a fundamental component of his works. Masaaki Nishi frequently endeavours to join incompatible materials, and, in order to clarify his relationship with nature, chooses a durable material –  iron. The artist prefers to leave his sculptures untouched for a long time because his work on forming them is a very fine balance between creation and non-creation. For young Latvian sculptors, the artist’s master classes will not only be a unique experience in working with a great master, they will able to view Latvia’s greatest resource – nature – from another perspective. Workshop students will explore the question of urban art in the context of contrast comprising two elemen ts – the natural and the man-made. Three outdoor works will be created during the master class, in three different materials and techniques. Organised by the Art and Information Management Centre.


25 Aug. - 8 Sep. 2014


Riga city


Masaaki Nishi, Aigars Bikše, and students of the Art Academy of Latvia

 Local organizer

The Center for Art Management and Information http://www.mmic.lv 
At the basis of Dance Move Cities project is a series of city residencies in Riga, involving international performing collectives working in collaboration with Latvian dance artists and drawing inspiration from the elements and phenomenas in the city. Japanese company Contact Gonzo will stay in residency in Riga for 4 weeks in August 2014 and together with a group of local dancers/performers will explore one of Riga’s suburbs, working site-specific in parks, squares, streets and places of social importance for local community (libraries, sports centres). Here they will they make regular artistic interventions in the public space and by the end of the residency develop and present a new collaborative creation for wider audiences.


Date: 4-31 Aug. 2014
Place: Grizinkalns
Japanese artist: Contact Gonzo *More details: New Theatre Institute of Latvia website

Presentation of new creation

Date: 23, 24 Aug. 2014 Meeting point: Koka Riga, Krāsotāju street 12 *More details: New Theatre Institute of Latvia website


contact Gonzo Founded in 2006, contact Gonzo is an improvisational performance group based in Osaka, Japan. This collective of five performers, has developed a specific mode of contact improvisation that borrows from sources ranging from martial arts to internet trends. Based on both physical strength and agility, and trusting relationships within the group, contact Gonzo powerfully balances elements of contemporary dance, performance art, and urban and popular cultures. Dispersing and occupying public buildings, theaters, museums and alleyways around the world, their work is typically a series of arresting encounters that teeter on an edge between violence and tenderness. Contact Gonzo has been presented in Japan, Singapore, New York, Moscow, Rio, Reykjavik, Zurich, Budapest, Ljubljana among other places.
Photo Diary focused on identity of both countries. "Notes of Beauty" is a photo project, implemented by the Latvian photographer, film director Aija Bley and Japanese photographer Ayaka Yamamoto. Both artists focuses on the search for a national identity and search for both cultures.
In the August 2014 Ayaka Yamamoto will go to Latvia, where she and Aija Bley will create photo diary about their trip in Latvia "Notes of Beauty". During this time, they also participate in the ISSP master workshop for photography, and make performance in the festival “Urban stories” in Riga, which will exhibit works created by Latvian trip.
In the end of September Aija Bley will go to Japan. She will be traveling there for a month and will create a photo story "Transparent".
Aija Bley photo works "Transparent" will be exhibited at 12th of December 2014 in central Riga showroom within the framework of the European Capital of Culture.


●"Notes of Beauty" Creative trip in Latvia Date: 1 Jul. - 21 Aug. 2014 ●"Notes of Beauty" Creative trip in Japan Date: 15 Sep. – 12 Oct. 2014

Workshop and exhibition

●ISSP workshop & exhibition in Latvia Date: 4 – 10 Aug. 2014 *More details: http://www.issp.lv/en/news
●Exhibition at the festival “Urban stories” Date: 18 – 21 Aug. 2014 Venue: Riga neighborhood Zolitude
●Photo exhibition“ Transparent” Date: 12 Dec. 2014 – 11 Jan. 2015 Venue: Riga Art Space

Participated photographers

Aija Bley (Latvia) https://www.aijabley.lv
Ayaka Yamamoto (Japan) http://ayakayamamoto.com/

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