Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Indefinable Cities → Japan : Day 9

Final day preparations for Diary of a Stranger concluded today as Hirofumi added some last minute touches, and added just a few more images to Higayashima's crumbling walls, swelling the number of exhibited drawings to over 250.

Unlike the previous two exhibitions, Hirofumi Suzuki's "Diary of a Stranger" opened without fanfare. Higashiyama Building has no electricity on floors two and three, nor the stairwells, and with light fading early in the evening in Japan, it meant that Hirofumi's unlit works would be impossible to see and also it wouldn't be safe for the public. A daytime event might have been arranged, but our schedule has meant that it wasn't possible to coincide a weekend mid-day event.

News has leaked out in to the area - Koh and building manager Jogin were interviewed for Okayama local paper - SANYOU - and an Okoyaman TV crew are coming next week.

Tomorrow we head for Onomichi - (尾道市) another coastal city, located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, facing the Inland Sea which has been called "Japan's hometown", a quiet port city of temples and literature along the Seto Inland Sea.The city was founded on April 1, 1898. It has been the home of a number of Japan's more famous authors, such as Shiga Naoya, Takahashi Gen'ichirō, and Hayashi Fumiko. Better preserved than most towns of its kind, Onomichi has also been the setting for a number of movies and TV dramas, including Yasujiro Ozu's 1953 classic Tokyo Story, and a 2005 anime series, Kamichu!

Onomichi is home to art gallery, Komyoji-kaikan run by artist duo, Mouhitori ( Tamaki Ono & Kiyohito Mikami) and was founded by them in 2009. As well as exhibitions, Mouhitori also run a residency programme - Air Onomichi. Coming from one of these residencies, the project Only Connect is run by Mouhitori, and two other artists, Tokyo-based Hitomi Kanemoto and Onomichi-based Yutaka Inagawa. The aim of Only connect is to explore the theme of connection and its relationship to place. Only Connect offers exhibitions, residencies and regular print output with a focus on expanding its reach beyond its local and national borders. Our contact with Only Connect is Yutaka Inagawa - recently completed his MFA at Chelsea School of Art, and since returning to Japan, after 5 years in London, is connecting his European contacts and networks, built in his time in London, with this project in Onomichi.  Details about Yutaka and his works can be found at his website.

Only Connect will host Emily Speed's "Garbuglio/Tangle" alongside a group exhibition "Dogs In A Room" - details here - opening on Friday 25th.

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