Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Vermont Artists, Part 1

Here's the first part of the story in video. After a clip of the Butoh dancers inside Sophie Hood's plastic bag creatures performing during the reception, we see the Vermont artists arriving in Nagoya, installing the work and finally, shots of the completed installation.

Monday, February 15, 2010

ON THE PLANET actually happened in Nagoya, and here's some of the report!

We’re back, having had an amazing adventure in Nagoya and beyond. Jet lag is almost behind us, so I (Janet) want to post some images from the trip, most of which were taken by other people, as I didn’t bring a camera.

We fit all our artwork into our checked-through baggage, which we think is really impressive! When we arrived at Nagoya airport, we were met by Ai Komatsu and her adorable son Oku, and later by Izuru Mizutani and his wife Noriko. They piled us into vehicles and delivered us to two apartments on the second and third floors of this building, generously provided to us for the duration of our visit, courtesy of the Nagoya University of Fine Arts.

The next morning, Ai arrived to show us how to get to the subway and make our way to the gallery. The subway is very well designed with great signage in both English and Japanese, and the announcements are also in both languages. And on the car doors, there were signs advertising the Congress on Biodiversity that's happening in October.

The gallery is at a stop called Nagoya Dome - Mae Yada, where there is a municipal cultural and entertainment
complex that includes this huge dome, a giant mall, a library, and a theater. I was amazed at how new everything was in this very large city, and discovered that Nagoya was pretty much burned to the ground during WWII, so everything has been rebuilt during the last 60 years.

We spent the next two days hanging the show, with help from translators, especially Aki Tamura (a real sweetie), and the invaluable assistance of tech wizard Licca Ito, who helped with lighting and created the fabulous egg-shaped pools of light on the wall where I installed my piece. And after everything was up, Sophie played her traveling violin (called a fiddlestick?).

All the other artists were hanging their work too, so here's a look at what they exhibited. Across the hall from us was Masayuki Nishimura's installation. There were colored chalks available for visitors to use for drawing on the houses:

Mie Matsuyama's seven magical columns of dripping glass:

Next to us, Midori Harima's installation, featuring a three-dimensional figure of a young girl made with xeroxed paper culled from media images. A digital projection of skaters in Central Park bounced off many mirror disks and scattered circular images on the walls and floor of the darkened room.

Chris Nelson's two room-sized sheets of fabric rotated in the room, barely missing colliding with each other. Visitors could make their way all the way to the back of the room, walking carefully and peeking through the fabric at the outlines of other bold souls, negotiating the space as the fabric created new openings to move through:

Shige Moriya's room had a street video from New York City projected on the far wall, and a collage of cutout pages of magazines and photographs he had taken pasted together on the floor:

Upstairs, in the very large room where the LEIMAY performance and both symposium/panels took place, were photographs by Kita Yoshiaki and two installations by Izuru Mizutani, the exhibit's curator:

I (or one of the other artists) will post information about our subsequent activities -- workshops with children, studio and gallery visits, presentations, and travels -- within the next few weeks.

We want to thank you again for your support, interest, and involvement in the ON THE PLANET project. We are all looking forward to the September exhibits in Vermont that will involve both Japanese and American artists. Tax-deductible contributions to support this continuing effort can be sent to Studio Place Arts, 201 North Main Street, Barre, VT 05641.