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Young, Fearless & Limitless -
Artist talk - Yo Nakamura and Underground Airport
Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai
Out of Step - Artist talk by contact Gonzo
Art Meets Design -
Talk: Yuri Suzuki x Kouichi Okamoto with Alex Coles
Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga
Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara new
Artist talk: Shinro Ohtake new
Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
new
Journal
Botech Compositions: New Work by Macoto Murayama

Young, Fearless & Limitless -
Artist talk - Yo Nakamura and Underground Airport
  org

The Japan Foundation is dedicated to supporting performing arts from Japan and through the PAJ (Performing Arts Japan) programme, we have helped bring exciting, cutting-edge artists to Europe to both present and develop their work. Most recently, Underground Airport and Yo Nakamura, both of whom are representatives of a new direction for performing arts in Japan, have been invited by National Theatre Wales to take up a residency for future and further collaborations with the UK, supported by the Japan Foundation.

In this joint artist talk, Yasuro Ito of Underground Airport, a theatre group renowned for portraying society through their metaphorical works, and Yo Nakamura, an award-winning dancer and choreographer, will introduce their careers and work illustrating how they each utilise a variety of media to create their own unique style. Reflecting on their WalesLab project, where they have been able to take inspiration from the people, landscape and history of the area, they will look into how these encounters and experiences could influence their future work and activities, as well as the difficulties they have faced in the borderless and global performing arts world of today. Ito and Nakamura will also be joined for a discussion by Sioned Huws, independent choreographer and Artistic Director of the Aomori Project.

This event will provide the opportunity to discover the future for Japanese performing arts and meet some of the most thrilling young talents that Japan has to offer.

There will be a short performance by Yo Nakamura after the talk.

To download the full event flyer, please click here.


Date: 28 August 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai   org

The Japan Foundation is pleased to present a double bill of films by Makoto Shinkai, one of the most exciting animation filmmakers in Japan today. Often cited as ‘the next Miyazaki’, Shinkai produces animations which are full of stunning scenes and visuals, combined with beautiful stories. The programme will included two of Shinkai’s films; his early film Voices of a Distant Star and his 2013 production,The Garden of Words.

To download the flyer for this event, please click here.


Date: 30 August 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

**Both screenings are now fully booked** To register for the waiting list, please click here. (This booking form uses Google Drive and is subject to Google's Terms & Conditions.)

Image: 'The Garden of Words', © Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

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Out of Step - Artist talk by contact Gonzo   org

Contact Gonzo is an improvisational performance group from Osaka, Japan that disregard the framework of the prevailing definition and code of dance. Their pioneering style is a balance of elements from contemporary dance, performance art and urban culture mixed with influences from martial arts. The collective of four members with different backgrounds - Yuya Tsukahara, Keigo Mikajiri, Takuya Matsumi and Masakazu Kobayashi – use physical strength and agility to create experimental encounters with attacks of movement. Earning numerous invitations to perform at exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including MoMA in New York and the Sydney Biennale in Australia, they present their works not only through performances but also by means of art installations wherein photo and film is used. 

Supported through the Japan Foundation’s Performing Arts Programme (PAJ), Contact Gonzo drops into the UK on their way home from a residency in Italy and Latvia to talk about the unique performance method and body expression that they have developed. Reflecting on the current state of performing arts and performance art in Japan, they will also discuss how important it is to be responsive to the environment they encounter in order to fulfil their artistic creed.

The group will be joined for a discussion by Prof Anna Furse, Head of Department of Theatre and Performance, Goldsmiths, University of London and founder member of Transitional Identity in the early 1980s, the UK's first Contact Improvisation touring company.

There will be a short performance by Contact Gonzo after the talk.


Date: 5 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Image credit: OKA-Z

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Art Meets Design -
Talk: Yuri Suzuki x Kouichi Okamoto with Alex Coles
  org

Today, the names Yuri Suzuki and Kouichi Okamoto have become synonymous as fusion artists who can freely cross the boundary between design and art. While both have worked in product design creating functional objects, each has been involved in music and sound projects and their practices have started leaning towards the pursuit of creative expression in the field of art.

Bridging the gap between the two distinct domains, their work has been displayed in a number of institutions: UK-based Suzuki has collaborated with pop artist will.i.am on Barbican show Digital Revolution and Tate Britain for the exhibition JUKE BOX Meets TATE BRITAIN, whilst Japan-based Okamoto has exhibited at the V&A London as part of London Design Week 2012 and 2014.

In this special talk, Suzuki and Okamoto, joined in conversation with Alex Coles, art critic and editor specialising in the interface between art, design and architecture, will discuss the reason behind their move beyond the design parameters of utilitarian products, reflecting on their own experiences within the creative industry. They will also expand on the differences in practice, approach and mindset between design and art, and how this unique aspect of visual arts integration will evolve in the future.


Date: 22 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga   org

The gritty genre of “Gekiga” was named by Yoshihiro Tatsumi in 1957. Based on “Komaga”, previously proposed by Masahiko Matsumoto, it aimed to differentiate itself from mainstream Manga and depict realism in daily life while pursuing a more systematic induction of the reader’s gaze.

The development of this visual expression by Tatsumi resulted not only in the growth of the comic rental market in Osaka, but once it had been picked up by publishers in Tokyo, it represented a new wave of Manga in late 1960’s Japan.

By rejecting the over simplistic, fantasy-based narratives of stereotypical Manga, Matsumoto and Tatsumi’s realistic mode created work from the viewpoint of the everyday man and minorities. Why did these artists move away from moralistic tales where good always defeated evil, and how did their experimental storylines and unique visual language evolve?

Mitsuhiro Asakawa, an award winning historian of Gekiga, will introduce some of Japan’s most influential Gekiga artists and reflect on his personal encounters with them, as well as explore the original source of creativity in Gekiga expression and the social circumstances that resulted in this style. Following the talk, Paul Gravett, a journalist and author specialising in comics publishing and promotion, will join the conversation.

This event will provide an intriguing and insightful scope into Gekiga and alternative comics to Manga in Japan.


Date: 25 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara   org

Yoshitomo Nara is one of the most influential and internationally renowned contemporary artists from Japan, best known for his paintings of cartoon-like wide-eyed children and animals. The characters in Nara’s works often sport fiendish expressions and provocative stances; appearing ‘cute’ at first, but also convey underlying tones of adult anxiety, isolation and rebellion. Adored by legions of fans and critics, Nara’s works, ranging from paintings, sculptures, ceramics and large-scale installations have been displayed in museums and galleries around the world, and his iconic images have also graced t-shirts, CD covers, skateboards and even yo-yos.

On the occasion of his major solo exhibition taking place at Dairy Arts Centre, London, Nara will introduce his artistic development over his 30-year career as well as the ethos behind his iconic works.

This is a very rare opportunity to gain a further insight into one of Japan’s most legendary artists who seldom makes public appearances, whilst surrounded by his paintings, drawings and sculptures on display.


Date: 3 October 2014 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Dairy Art Centre
7a Wakefield St, London WC1N 1PG


Booking:

This event is free but booking essential. To book your place via the website Eventbrite, please click here.

The exhibition Yoshitomo Nara will be at Dairy Arts Centre from 3 October to 14 December 2014.  For more information, please visit: dairyartcentre.org.uk

Image: Yoshitomo Nara, Can’t wait ’til the Night Comes, 2012, Photo: Keizo Kioku © Yoshitomo Nara

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Artist talk: Shinro Ohtake   org

Constantly exploring the act of creating, Shinro Ohtake is a distinguished Japanese contemporary artist whose career spans over 35 years. His work is truly borderless with his main medium being painting but also expands into sculpture, design, installation, and even experimental music.

Ohtake’s subject and complex style has earned him numerous invitations to exhibitions worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, the Venice Biennale in 2013 and this year’s Yokohama Triennale. Additionally, he was recently awarded one of Japan’s most prominent art accolades, The Agency for Cultural Affairs Minister’s Award for the Fine Arts 2013-2014. 

In conjunction with the largest U.K. exhibition of his work at Parasol unit foundation of contemporary art in London, The Japan Foundation has invited Ohtake to explore the characteristics of both his past and recent work, and the unprecedented approach he uses for his own brand of accumulation. In discussion with Mark Rappolt, editor of ArtReview, this talk will also examine the meaning of expression in his interdisciplinary style, reflecting how his approach and characteristics have developed over time in response to the changing worldwide and Japanese art scene


Date: 10 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Image: Shinro Ohtake, Scrapbook #66, 2010-2012. Mixed media artist book, 72 x 96 x 129 cm, 27.2 kg, 830 pages. Courtesy of the artist and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, photo by Kei Okano

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Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
  org

Shogi is a traditional Japanese board game, similar to Western Chess. Played by two players, the different ways in which the pieces can move arguably makes Shogi strategically more interesting and exciting to play through to the end. However, the downside of Shogi is that it takes some time to master…

In order to encourage those who have always wanted to play Shogi but didn’t know where to start, the Japan Foundation has invited Madoka Kitao, one of Japan’s most distinguished Shogi players to teach you ‘Dobutsu Shogi’ (‘Animal Shogi’), a simplified version of Shogi, invented by Kitao herself.

Having much less pieces on the board, Dobutsu Shogi may seem an easy game at first, but once you experience it, you will soon be drawn into the dazzling labyrinthine world of Shogi. The game is suitable for all ages (as long as you can recognize the animal pictures on the pawns!) and even those who consider themselves a Shogi master will also be fascinated to play this wild variation!

At the beginning of workshop, Madoka Kitao will also talk about the culture and history of Shogi in Japan.

Come and enjoy Dobutsu Shogi and meet the master and inventor of this cute board game!

For ages 8 to 108! (Children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.)

Workshop Times:

11:00am - 12:30pm (for adults and independent children)
2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families) 

2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families)

Date: 11 October 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


The workshops are free to attend but booking is essential. To register, please email your name and the session you would like to attend to: event@jpf.org.uk

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Journal   JPsupported

Journal is an exhibition bringing together international artists who explore both historical events and more gradual social changes in their work. As part of the presentations and live performances taking place at the ICA Galleries and off-site, the exhibition will include Japanese artist Koki Tanaka’s new commission Precarious Tasks #9: 24hrs Gathering, in which Tanaka embarks on a series of events, which he refers to as ‘actions’, over a 24-hour period. 


Date: 25 June 2014 - 7 September 2014
Venue:

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London


For more information, please click here.

Image: painting to the public (open-air), 2012, Collective acts, Billboard. Photography by Takashi Fujikawa; Created with Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo

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Botech Compositions: New Work by Macoto Murayama   JPsupported

For the 2014 Liverpool Biennial, Metal will be exhibiting the work of Macoto Murayama. Based in Tokyo, Murayama spent six months of 2013 living and working at Metal’s space in Southend on Sea, dissecting, recording and rendering in digital form UK indigenous flowers. The resulting works are presented at Metal’s Liverpool base, Edge Hill Station as a series of high definition, animated sequences that reveals the beauty, fragility and architectural structure of flowers. It is the first time that Macoto Murayama’s work has been exhibited in the UK.


Date: 4 July 2014 - 26 October 2014
Venue:

Metal, Edge Hill Station, Liverpool


For more information, please click here.
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