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Talk & Demonstration: Exploring the Music of Noh new
Artist Talk by Shun Ito new
Japanese Gardens: Talk by Kei Ishikawa new
Creation from Catastrophe – how Architecture rebuilds Communities

Talk & Demonstration: Exploring the Music of Noh   org

Comprising drama, music and dance, Noh is Japan’s oldest surviving form of theatre with a history going back over 600 years. Among its performative elements, the music of Noh is considered an equally integral piece to the art and its ensemble of four musicians, known as the hayashi, create an atmosphere which gives Noh its distinguished dramatic power. Consisting of the nohkan (traverse flute) player and three percussionists, the highly trained musicians individually use their traditional instruments to evoke moods, expressions and enhance the performance on stage.

In this special talk, the Japan Foundation have invited three performers of classical Noh repertoire to introduce the pivotal sounds of this theatrical art. Featuring introductions and small demonstrations by Yukihiro Isso (nohkan flute), Tatsushi Narita (kotsuzumi shoulder drum) and Mitsuhiro Kakihara (otsuzumi hip drum), the performers will demonstrate the roles of their individual instruments and the vast array of expressions the music can convey in the performance.

Due to Noh’s symbolic and highly stylised nature, it can often be considered something difficult to appreciate or follow, but this event will give you an understanding through which to enjoy this traditional theatrical art, and will immerse you within the fascinating world of Noh.

Date: 15 May 2016 from 2.00pm

20 BEDFORD WAY (Drama Studio, Level 1) 
20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL


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


This event is organised with mu:arts.

The speakers will also be taking part in Noh Reimagined - The Contemporary Art of Classical Japanese Theatre, a two-day festival taking place at Kings Place, London from 13-14 May 2016 supported by The Japan Foundation. For more information, and booking details, please click here.

Image credit: Know-Noh Office

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Artist Talk by Shun Ito   org

Japanese artist Shun Ito is a multi-hyphenate artist whose career spans from performing arts to moving images. His meticulously constructed kinetic sculptures projected by light or the power of gravity, produce complex colours, shapes, and sound though dynamic energy. As a former dancer and technical director of KARAS (founded by Saburo Teshigawara), Ito’s interest in theatrical art and physical expression has seemingly played a strong role in his body of work.

With Ito’s first major UK show Cosmic Birds premiering in Birmingham this May, the Japan Foundation has invited him to give a special talk about his work and his colourful career to date, as well as the uncover the source of inspiration in the creative process of constructing these dramatic installations.

Date: 19 May 2016 from 7.00pm

October Gallery, Theatre Showroom
24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL


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


This talk is organised in collaboration with DanceXchange, producer of International Dance Festival Birmingham.

The exhibition Cosmic Birds will run from 2 - 20 May 2016 at International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016. For more information, please click here.

In A Landscape, a performance piece by Kei Miyata and incorporating Ito’s installation Cells, takes place from 12 - 14 May 2016. For more information, and to book tickets, please click here.

Image credit: Cosmic Birds Courtesy of the Artist (

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Japanese Gardens: Talk by Kei Ishikawa   org

Traditional Japanese gardens utilise elements such as vegetation, ponds, islands and hills to make miniature idealised landscapes that mirror the geography of the archipelago. Different styles of gardens were created throughout history to reflect in a highly abstract and stylised way, cultural and religious characteristics of Japanese life at that specific period. Whether for contemplation and meditation or recreation and aesthetic pleasure, the exquisite environments have long captured the imagination of the West, influencing landscape designers and gardeners in abundance.

With gardening season having blossomed, The Japan Foundation has invited Kei Ishikawa, a professional gardener from the younger generation who has extensive training and expertise in Japanese temple gardens in Kyoto, to give an illustrated overview of Japanese gardens and what makes the style so unique and attractive. As a master practitioner, he will also give some technical tips on gardening skills as well as discuss the evolution of the aesthetics of Japanese garden florae and features, and the social positioning of gardeners in Japan. Whether or not you have green fingers, this talk promises to be a fascinating insight on landscaping in Japan from a specialist who is very well practiced in the topic. 

Date: 24 May 2016 from 6.30pm

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DT


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

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Creation from Catastrophe – how Architecture rebuilds Communities   JPsupported

Destruction and devastation present unique opportunities to radically rethink our environment. This exhibition explores the varying ways that cities and communities have been re-imagined in the aftermath of natural or man-made exhibitions. Among the exhibition’s case studies, a number of Japanese architects and movements will be represented including the Metabolism movement showcasing works by Arata Isozaki, Kenzo Tange and Kisho Kurokawa, as well as 21st century solutions, such as the Homes-For-All project instigated by Toyo Ito and Shigeru Ban’s Nepal project from 2015.

Date: 27 January 2016 - 24 April 2016

The Architecture Gallery, RIBA
66 Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1AD

For more information, please click here

Image: Photomural - Reruined Hiroshima, project by Arata Isozaki © MOMA

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