I am working with natural pigments and an assortment of local materials in my new studio in the Setouchi Inland Sea as an artist in residence through the end of the year. The region has been experiencing a swelling of contemporary art projects that are revitalizing small villages by utilizing empty spaces for art installations. Naoshima was the first example of how a small island could serve as a hub for contemporary art projects and was recently the topic of this article in the New York Times. The project I have been invited to participate in is on the larger island of Shodo and sponsored by Kagawa prefecture, one of the main sponsors of the Setouchi International Art Festival held last year. I will be working at the same site where I made the permanent installation work “A House of Language/土と共に” in 2010 as well as creating new video and works on paper. Please download the residency brochure HERE for more info on the details of this residency project.
I am developing a new project for Hokkaido that has been coordinated by the organizers of the exhibition Cycles of Memory (see flyer above). This project deals with the layers of earth and human consciousness, exposing the beauty of what lies beneath us. For this project soil will be drawn from a historical site in Hokkaido and redistributed on a mound near the exhibition venue in Tarumae. This movement of soil brings human daily labor into direct contact with the layers of soil that lie deep inside the earth, changing the color of a public site and exposing the history of a volcanic site. This project is tentatively titled Storied Landscape as people’s stories will be an integral part of the installation process, and the landscape itself will reveal people’s stories of the region and its history. I will hold workshops with the local community on July 20 and July 23rd and a public lecture is scheduled for July 24th at the Tomakomai Museum.
I am organizing a visit by socially engaged artist Toshiaki Tomita at the end of this month on O‘ahu. He will be collaborating with local groups, schools and individuals during his stay in Honolulu to make new artworks that will be part of his latest magazine project titled “Living in Story.” We are planning for a number of walks including a night stick walk done with candles, drawing on plates that will be used in a performance with food and sharing family photo albums with discussion of the tragedies in Tohoku. He is being graciously hosted by the Intersections Visiting Artist program at the University of Hawai‘i and will be in Honolulu for the last week of April before going to big island for the first week of May. He will give a public lecture on Thursday, April 28th at the UH Mānoa Art Building Room 101 from 12 noon to 1pm. Please come by or contact me if you would like to get involved in this creative project!