A performance in Lithuania of the traditional Japanese dance form jiutamai in 2012, the year following the Great East Japan Earthquake, led to three years of work towards this Japan visit by a Lithuanian girls choir. It is not difficult to imagine that the heartfelt sympathy of the Lithuanian people for the unprecedented devastation wrought by the earthquake is not unconnected with their own painful experiences during the long, cruel Soviet occupation of their country. The enthusiasm and commitment of Tokijo Hanasaki, who has long made strenuous efforts to introduce and popularize jiutamai around Europe, and not least in Lithuania, were factors in achieving this Japan visit by Lithuanian girls who embraced a strong attraction to Japan. The ties of friendship that developed through these exchanges will surely persist well into the future.
25-30 Jul. 2015
Lithuanian Girls Choir ”UGNELE”
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.
Possibilities of new creativity inspired by relocation to new ground
The Pécs Writers Program was launched in 2007 as part of the preparations for European Capital of Culture Pécs 2010. This is a writer-in-residence program in Pécs that has now extended invitations to nearly fifty writers from around the world and through the European Capital of Culture network. In March 2014 two representatives of the program visited Japan and, as the outcome of their research and investigations into Japanese writers, invited author Keiichiro Hirano, active on a number of fronts, to take part in the program. As an escape from the daily tumult, the residency in the ancient city of Pécs both provided Hirano with new inspiration and, as it came just when the plight of refugees in Hungary featured in the news day after day, brought a tremendous response from his blog readers in Japan to his posts on the issue.
17 – 29 Sep. 2015
Stop-motion breathing life in frame by frame
Kosice Artist in Residence - international artist-in-residency-program for emerging artists from all over the world and out of all artistic disciplines. This program was launched in the flame of European Capital of Culture Kosice 2013. Kaoru Furuko is artist from Japan working mostly with stop-motion animation and illustration. She is focused on traditional folk and fairy tales, always working on location in the place from the culture of which the stories stem. Once there, she collects materials and observations, letting them infuse the style and atmosphere of the animation. She thus interweaves the stories with her information about the present of the place to which the story belongs and in which it survives. Kaoru Furuko visited Košice for the first time in October 2014 and made two month long research about Slovak traditions, folk tales and she started to collect traditional materials for the animation. In 2015 KAIR support the six month production project of the stop-motion animation short film based on the research. *K.A.I.R. - Kosice Artist in Residence: http://www.kair.sk/
1 Apr.- 30 Nov. 2015
Studios of project K.A.I.R. Košice Artist in Residence www.kair.sk
The photobook in everyone's daily lives - to understand photography in a world of images.Last year the Photo Book Days was started during the Landskrona Fotofestival which is an annual and long-term effort to give the photobook a higher status in Sweden.Their long term goal is to raise the frequency the photobook appears in media, being reviewed and discussed. Also to give the photo authors the same status as the literary authors.They created an annual Photo Book Days with 3 international guest lecturers and publishers who present and talk about their work. In this way experience is exchanged between countries and networks created. This ultimately leads to the analysis and discussion of the photobook as a phenomenon.
*Landskrona Foto Festival: http://www.landskronafoto.org/en/
*Photo Book Days: http://www.landskronafoto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Photo-Book-Days_Landskrona-Foto-Festival.pdf
Young photographers find learning and practice with spirited teaching team!
The International Summer School of Photography (ISSP) 2015 will take place in Kuldiga, Latvia from 1-9 August 2015. The ISSP takes place in Latvia since 2006, each year welcoming 72 young photographers from around the world as students. The ISSP offers six advanced thematic masterclasses by renowned international photography masters in combination with an exciting programme of evening talks, presentations and portfolio reviews. The 9 -day event concludes with the opening of the group exhibition and an open air screening of students’ work in Kuldīga; a publication is produced yearly. Acclaimed Japanese photographer Takashi Homma will lead one of the six masterclasses on his chosen theme, and present his work during an artist talk to the international audience. As the 10th anniversary edition, the ISSP 2015 programme will have an even more exciting programme than usual, turning into a week-long festival of photography. *International Summer School of Photography (ISSP):http://www.issp.lv/en/news
Kendo activities by Poland-Japan Friendship Foundation Nami
In the background to the establishment in Wrocław of the Nami foundation lay the enthusiasm of people with inexhaustible respect for kendo and the other martial arts of Japan. It is not difficult to imagine that what brought kendo master Hironobu Yamashiro, who has his own long track record of exchange, to respond at long last to the invitation was the sincere respect and admiration for kendo of the program's organizer, Julian Górski.
“Kendo strongly embodies the spirituality and traditions of Japan,” Górski wrote in a letter to Yamashiro. “It is a Japanese martial art that I hope will find appreciation in this way among many people.”
The example of the spread and development of kendo in Poland gives us confidence that culture of excellence does not remain isolated, but persists in its development and in the end transcends national borders.
26-27 Sep. 2015
High School no. 9 (Wroclaw, Poland)
Hironobu Yamashiro (8th dan Hanshi kendo), Ishizaka Hidefumi (6th dan kendo), Furuichi Norio (8th dan Kyoshi iaido), Saito Yuichi (6th dan Renshi kendo/from Amsterdam)
Kendo / iaido workshops
23-27 Sep. 2015 / High School no. 12, REDECO Sport Hall, MCS Sport Hall, High School no. 9
Dialog of contemporaries among artists transcending geographical boundaries
THE ROOM BELOW participated in the Supermarket Art Fair, an international art fair held in Sweden. 64 galleries from 29 countries gathered there and gave presentations with various themes. They attended the Fair in order to widely introduce not only the arts placed outside of the existing art systems but also the creativity of artists with disabilities who have been continuing the creative activities. Thanks to the introduction of our activities by the local media, almost 4,000 visitors showed interest in our activities. It was a valuable experience that they could have discussions with artists throughout the world about the influence of the age of globalization and its issues. It is a great success that they could build international networks so as to continue and develop these discussions even after the completion of the Art Fair. https://www.facebook.com/theroombelow.artgallery/info
15-19 Apr. 2015
Svarta Huset, Stockholm, Sweden
Shin Button, Atsuko Kanazu, Minoru Yonezawa
An infinite dialog, driven by haiku
The Japanese verse form haiku has long since transcended national borders and found favor throughout the world. This year poets and haiku composers from fourteen countries and regions gathered to share their pleasure in creating and savoring haiku in a variety of ways. Readings of work by the poets and haiku composers taking part were given in their native languages and with English translation. Participants also heard talks on haiku activity in such locations as the Arabic-speaking countries, Denmark, France, Mongolia and Vietnam, and from a female haiku composer a report of deep interest on how haiku are received by women in different countries. There was also active dialog on the poetic form in a wide range of approaches, including haiku and gogaku (classical Japanese court music), haiku and pictures, haiku and film and music, haiku and dance, rakugo (traditional Japanese storytelling) and haiku, and haiku and proverbs. Now that it has spread throughout the world, haiku is sure to go on to extend its infinite possibilities and join the hearts of people everywhere.