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
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)
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.
Long history of exchange develops further on stage of European Capital of Culture
Over two years in 2006-07 Kindai University twice conducted international workshops and experienced fruitful exchanges between its instructors and students and those of Ecole nationale superieure des arts visuels de La Cambre (ENSAV) in Brussels. Kindai put these experiences to advantage as part of Mons 2015 in a series of joint workshops over the course of the year together with the local ARTS2 Conservatoire royal de Mons.
In 2014 instructors from the two schools began discussions and visiting each other. In February 2015 students gathered at Kindai and in August at ARTS2 and engaged in production of work through two different workshops on the performing arts and the plastic arts. Discovering through communal living what they share in common and how they differ from each other, the students engaed with the shared theme of “how to overcome stereotypes about foreigners”. Ultimately in October five Kindai students traveled to Mons for live performances with local students of three pieces in puppetry theater, dance and drama, as well as song and drawing. For students of the two schools this program was a valuable opportunity rich in stimulus, suggestion and insight opening their eyes to the world.
■Workshop in Mons “East Meets West Half Way”
Date: 23 - 27 Feb. 2015 Venue: ARTS2 (Mons) Participants: 22 students of Kinki University, 22 students of ARTS2 Directed by: Kayoko MORI, Chika SEKIGUCHI, Kimiko HAYASHI, Naoko ITO (Kinki University)
■Performing Arts Workshop in Osaka 1 "I Meet You Here"
Date: 6-10 Aug. 2015 Venue: Kinki University (Osaka) Participants: 22 students of Kinki University, 22 students of ARTS2 Directed by: Kayoko MORI, Kimiko HAYASHI (Kinki University) Sylvie LANDUYT, Marc CERFONTAINE (ARTS2)
■Visual Art Workshop in Osaka 2: “I Meet You Here”
Date: 6-10 Aug. 2015 Venue: Kinki University (Osaka) Participants: 22 students of Kinki University, 22 students of ARTS2 Directed by: Chika SEKIGUCHI, Naoko ITO(Kinki University) Philippe ERNOTTE, Jean-Francois OCTAVE(ARTS2)
■Exhibition “Real-Fake Japan: a foolish week-end!”
Date: 30 Oct.- 1 Nov. 2015 Venue: Maison Folie (Mons) Artist: 5 young Japanese artists (Kinki University), young Belgian artists (ARTS2) Directed by: Kayoko MORI (Kinki University)
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
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
Dance perfomance confronting worldwide issue of social recluses
The Farm in the Cave theater company is known for its creative process in which the dancers get to the core of their subject matter by themselves conducting conscientious research and interviews. Based in the Czech Republic, the group enhances the appeal of its pieces with the richly varied perspectives of its multinational makeup, with dancers coming from such countries as Korea, Vietnam and Slovakia. Inspired by the novels of Ryu Murakami and such contemporary Japanese art as the pictures of Tetsuya Ishida, “Night in the City” takes as its theme the societal issue of social recluses that has now appeared outside Japan as well. Assisted during their Japan visit by Kawamura, who served on the volunteer staff at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in 2012, the dancers conducted an energetic course of interviews and investigation. Their true-to-life performance in this production underpinned by actual experience was acclaimed. Included in the program of the 2016 Czech Dance Platform, the piece enjoys growing prospects for presentation to a broader audience in future.
Classroom appreciation of “the artistic qualities of manga”
The Japanese manga form has numerous fans around the world and has captured the hearts of many young people. Its influence extends beyond entertainment as it now enjoys considerable attention for its educational value, both as a way to study Japanese language and traditional culture, and as a tool for the study of artistic technique. Meanwhile, as home of puppet theater and stop-motion film employing puppets, the Czech Republic is known for offering high-quality instruction in the arts of animation. A three-day manga workshop was held in Plzeň as part of the Animanie animation festival. Under the instruction of Ikuo Matsuda, who took part in the Littfest literature festival at European Capital of Culture 2014 Umeå in Sweden and has offered workshops in Italy and Africa, participants all completed an original two-page manga work. This substantial program continued with the production, over two days, of animation pieces based on those manga works in a valuable opportunity to cultivate practical technique while prizing creativity.
14-17 Nov. 2015
Art school of Jiri Trnka
Ikuo Matsuda (manga instructor)
Joint production by Japanese, Czech artists who studied together in Paris
The stage production Among Us emerged from the encounter of Chinami Gentsu and Hana Strejčková as students at L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in 2011. The creation of local children and a production team assembled from such far-flung places as the Czech Republic, Japan, Jordan, the United States and Poland, this piece underwent long-distance preparations and then three weeks of rehearsals in the Czech Republic. The exploitation in the work of workshops held concurrently and of the results of a survey of the viewpoints and creativity of children in non-linguistic areas was reminiscent to an adult audience of our receptivity in infancy. The performance stirred large numbers and brought much to their notice. With the success of this project in the Czech Republic, ideas are afoot for bringing the performance to Japan as well in future.
Cutting-edge culture speaks to all the world! Young Japanese artists working in Europe!
Plzeň is known for its many clubs and music studios. Plzeň Night, a music festival held on club stages around the city is how this aspect of the city's character was reflected in the program of the European Capital of Culture. The venues featured music of varied genres, and attracting particular attention was Japan Stage, featuring Japanese post-rock and DJs. Seven groups of artists from Japan took part, instantly captivating the young people of Plzeň with a deep, cutting-edge program of stage performances, cosplay and other culture originating in Japan. The space brimmed with young fans eager to see the fresh and innovative program. Though superficially taking different approaches, these artists from a far-off foreign land transcended barriers with great ease and reached deep inside their hearts. The moment demonstrated that music truly is the world's lingua franca.
23rd Oct. 2015
DJ Kyoka, DJ Miss Hawaii, Tomy Wealth, Tanukichi, DJ Miyukiss, MC Broko, Paulie Garand