Category Archives: Art

Pictures from Enso Watt & Instant Eternity!

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Enso Watt performed Sanka’s 5th Season Ritual at Urbanguild on Sunday night and as always it was a fantastic show. If you are not familiar with what they do, it is a choreographed multi-media extravaganza, of experimental music, pre-recorded soundscapes, live video, art, poetry, heaps of talent, color, and a whole lot of enthusiasm. All of it conducted by classical composer/conductor Yannick Paget, and inspired by the poetry of Chris Mosdell. Sometimes when they are all playing and the lyrics are bubbling from Chris Mosdell’s mouth, I feel like they are just happily playing, that I don’t need to take it so seriously, just go along for the ride. But by the time we got to the 3rd act on Sunday night, I was thoroughly sucked in by the poet’s words, swept up by the music, and Yannick’s pounding drums… enthralled, enthused, moved and inspired.

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“We are elementary,” said the poet, “awakening from a phantasmagorical sleep… We have lived everywhere…”

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Words and music, light and sound were bringing us back to our first beginnings, and to our essential unity: “We have learnt to dissolve in all directions, to transfer identities.”

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“We are an ancient race with an essential innocence, with virginity in our veins–”

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Imagine that; a creed underlying culture that celebrated our essential innocence, rather than the dead weight of original sin.

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I was intoxicated by the energy of this performance. My mind was taking the poet’s lyrics and spinning new mythologies, new litanies of healing, multiplying through “dimensions, strata, levels, layers…”  I imagined the Sanka Rites poured into the common consciousness, overwhelming  terror and trauma, washing away tired philosophies of division and denial! How splendid to be “charged with renegade magic”, to celebrate and build rather than fight and destroy!

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Thoughts like these went through my mind at Sanka’s 5th Ritual.

Many thanks to all the participants in Sunday night’s show. There really is nothing else like the raw mix of talent and adventurous spirit that makes up the Enso Watt collective.

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But will they play again, I wonder? After Eternity, what next?

ensō watt are
{soundscape, spatialization}
Samuel André (aka ieva)

{composer, conductor, percussionist}
Yannick Paget

{poetry}
Chris Mosdell

{piano }
江南泰佐 Taisuke Enami

{accordeon synth}
ryotaro

{contrabass}
岡田康孝 Okada Yasutaka

{guest : trumpet}
Christopher Fryman

{live video mapping}
Andy Couzens & Masato Tokumaru

{drawing}
Hirisha Metha

{translation}
吉村哲幸
noriyuki yoshimura

See also: Images from Sanka’s Winter Ritual

Ensō Watt Return to UrbanGuild for Sanka’s Fifth Ritual!

Oh boy! They are back! This is going to be great!

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From Marguerite Paget:

Dear Friends
Ensō Watt is coming back for the Sanka’s Fifth season Ritual !
After completing the “seasonal cycle” (the rites of summer, autumn, winter and spring), honoring the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s revolutionary Rite of Spring, the musical/visual ensemble Ensō Watt will add a fifth season: INSTANT ETERNITY – a journey through the Great Void on “reincarnation runs,” in their mind-feathers and abyss oil, in search of the Lost City of Abstract Hours.
Come along for the ride!

Ensō Watt is an artist collective born in Kyoto from the encounter of artists coming from different countries and raised in entirely different artistic universe, from classical music to electro, improvisation and sound-design.
http://www.ensowatt.org

2016 January 24th (Sunday)
Venue: UrBANGUILD Kyoto

http://www.urbanguild.net/
map : https://goo.gl/maps/wHTfPYvzDEN2

On the door: 2800 yen / In advance: 2100 yen
Students: 1600 yen
+1 drink

ensō watt is
{soundscape, spatialization}
Samuel André (aka ieva)

{composer, conductor, percussionist}
Yannick Paget

{poetry}
Chris Mosdell

{piano }
江南泰佐 Taisuke Enami

{accordeon synth}
ryotaro

{contrabass}
岡田康孝 Okada Yasutaka  

{guest : trumpet}
Christopher Fryman

{live video mapping}
Andy Couzens & Masato Tokumaru

{drawing}
Hirisha Metha

{translation}
吉村哲幸
noriyuki yoshimura

See also: Sanka’s Winter Ritual

Manga in History Exhibition at Kyoto International Manga Museum

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Yesterday, Mewby and I went to see the “Great Manga History Traces from Edo” exhibition at Kyoto International Manga Museum. This is a fascinating exhibition whether you are interested in the early development of manga, or of its role in social history. Manga has a long history as a satirical tool, used broadly to mock social and political trends. The museum displays a great number of original materials to show manga’s development from playful sketches intended purely to amuse, to works of more serious intent, such as the battle scenes that satirized opposing forces during the Boshin War. And happily everything is clearly explained in English as well as Japanese – just as you would expect from this “International” museum!

Here are just two pictures that caught my eye yesterday among the many on show.

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Sequel to “oshinpan moji-e sugata” – Nagahide, 1840s.

Above is an example of moji-e or “letter pictures”, in which hiragana characters are playfully used in pictures. For example the cat or ねこ (neko) in the third picture from the right clearly employs the character ね.

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“Ryuko sannin namayoi” – Three tipsy people nowadays by an unknown artist, 1855.

This picture satirizes society after the Great Ansei Earthquake, a major disaster in Edo (now Tokyo) in 1855. The geisha is grieving over her lost customers. The merchant on the left is an angry drunk because he has lost so much business. However, the construction worker in the middle is laughing at the money to be made in the coming reconstruction. Some things don’t change…

Mewby at the exibition.

Mewby at the exibition.

While photography is generally not permitted inside the Manga Museum, it is permitted in some sections of this exhibition.

Great Manga History Traces from Edo continues until February 7th (Sunday).

The International Manga Museum is open 10:00 – 18:00 (Last entry at 17:50). It is located a 5 minute walk from Karasuma Oike Subway Station. Here is a map.

Entry for adults is 800 yen, for middle school students (12-15) 300 yen and elementary school students (under 12) 100 yen. Entry entitles you to view all the exhibits in the museum. Visit the website to find out more: http://www.kyotomm.jp/english/

See also:
Introduction to Kyoto International Manga Museum
Seika University Manga Faculty Article in Morning Calm Magazine

Joel Stewart Painting Exhibition at Hakuhou-doh Gallery, Kyoto; 12/1 – 12/13 2015

Local artist, Joel Stewart, will be exhibiting his very fine works at Hakuhou-doh Gallery in Kyoto from December 1st to the 13th. Be prepared for some thought provoking juxtapositions of both abstract and representational art!

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art gallery HAKUHOU-DOH / アートギャラリー博宝堂

Located on the east side of Jingumichi, south of Niomon Dori. Here is a MAP.
Address:〒606-8344 京都市左京区岡崎神宮道東側
Hours: 11:00 – 18:00
Tel: 075-771-9401
URLs: http://hakuhou-doh.com/ / http://blog.goo.ne.jp/hakuhou-doh

The 5th Kyoto Photo Walk with Javier Montano

5th photo walkNews from our friend Javier Montano:

It is finally here!

– Meet new friends and learn about photography in beautiful Nanzenji and beyond.
– All you need is a camera or a smartphone
– Please register now, It is FREE!

When
Sunday, November 29, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM (JST)
Where
Kyoto – Keage station (Tozai line). 蹴上駅 Keage-eki. Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture JP

Register here: Kyoto Photowalk

See also: Javier Montano’s Website
Javier Montano on Facebook: Daijoubu Photography

Photo Tips & Tricks with Javier Montano: Tip #1 Learning to wait…

Here is some expert photography advice from our good friend, Javier Montano

As a photographer, the most common questions I get asked are technical in nature. Which camera brand is better? Should I get a mirror-less or a DSLR camera? Is a 85mm lens better than a 50mm lens? And so on. It is not that these questions are bad. They are not. It’s natural for beginners to ask about the equipment necessary to dive into the amazing world of photography.

The thing is, questions about equipment are almost never the most important. A good camera can help you to get well exposed and sharp images, but it will not do anything to make your friend’s smile funnier, make the sun look awesome during the evening, or create a romantic atmosphere alongside that river you like so much. No, sir. Conveying emotion in a photograph is up to you, the photographer.

So the important question is, how do I do that? And the answer is: you study and you practice. You study and you practice a lot. But first, you need to get rid of all the experts’ advice about buying expensive stuff. Professional photographers love their cameras and accessories so much that they forget about how they were when they started taking photos. We forget that we did not start using a 3.000.000 yen camera. Stop listening to the so called “pros” and start acquiring good photography skills with whatever camera you may have. Yes, even a smartphone will do.

Today I’d like to talk about one of these skills. It’s called patience. Let me explain it to you. Look at the picture of this American gentleman I took during his tour in beautiful Kyoto.

javier patience

Click on the image to view it full size. Image © Javier Montano.

Do you think the photo would look as good without the colorful ladies at the left side of the frame? I do not think so. So what do you do when you don’t have a budget to hire pretty models to stand in front of the camera? It’s simple… you wait. At that time, I stood there looking like a fool trying to convince the client and my assistant to wait for a little on that street, telling them it was worth it to stand there for a couple of minutes more until something interesting would happen. Fortunately, it did! We got the nice shot and I was not feeling ridiculous anymore.

Now you go out and do the same. You will be surprised how being a little patient (sometimes being very patient) can be much better than having an expensive camera. Trust me; your photos will start looking better after you stop hurrying, and you start waiting for the right moment to click the button. More to come…

Text and photograph by Javier Montano. Javier Montano is well known locally for his group photo walks as well as his own stunning photography. Here on Deep Kyoto, he writes regularly with advice for would be photographers. Check out his own work at http://www.javiermontano.net and on Facebook.

See also: Introducing Deep Kyoto’s Photo Tips & Tricks with Javier Montano

Ikuo Salley’s photo exhibition, “Whiskey Drinking Troubadour” at GalleryMain, Kyoto; Nov 13 – 22 2015

Thanks to Mike Vlasman for passing on news of this upcoming photography exhibition by Ikuo Salley.

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The invisible society we built in cyberspace is prospering well like the tower of babel. It is the magic of anonymity helping us to express the many things we have wished to do secretly, and yet, people want to believe that this is real communication. On the contrary, our visible society is loosing the actual sense of expression and the personal touchof communication. When I was living in Hollywood, I noticed that all the tourists looked the same, but desperate people living on the street all had one of a kind faces. Prostitutes, gay guys, exiles, drug addicts, criminals……those people who have already known how hard life is……tell you a lot with their eyes. Looking into a face reaches me in a deep and honest sense, and also convinces me what “real communication” is. LINK

11/13 [Friday]ー11/23[Monday]

*closed on monday

13:00ー19:30

**last day 13:00-17:00

GalleryMain: http://www.gallerymain.com/home.html

セイリー育緒: http://35mm36.jp/photo.html

NUIT BLANCHE 2015 -KYOTO OPENING PERFORMANCE « Langage, texture et mouvement »

From Marguerite Paget

NUIT BLANCHE 2015 -KYOTO OPENING PERFORMANCE « Langage, texture et mouvement »

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October 3rd 2015
Kyoto International Manga Museum – 19:00
UrBANGUILD Open 20:00 – Starts 20:30

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«Langage, Texture et Mouvement» is a unique mix-media live performance which gathers classical conductor, composer and percussionist YANNICK PAGET, filmmaker and visual artist ALEXANDRE MAUBERT (Villa Kujoyama 2012), painter DAIJIRO HAMA and electro artist YOHEI YAMAKADO for a special artistic collaboration. Staged in front of Kyoto International Manga Museum (October 3rd, 19:00), the performance will launch the 5th edition of the Contemporary Art Festival : Nuit Blanche Kyoto which 2015 theme is « Fashion x Contemporary Art ».

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« Langage, texture et mouvement » : an artistic encounter
Initiated by Yannick Paget this group performance explores fashion, as an art of
appearance that connects or disconnects us, forms communities or leads to rejection. Appearance draws a limit between our interior & our exterior. It creates frontiers, materialized by the textile. Like interlaced fabric, this musical live performance explores physicality; turning fabric into human tissue through the collaboration and encounter of artists coming from different countries, raised in entirely different artistic universe, from classical music to electro or improvisation and using different mediums (video, music, painting, dance…).

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While Alexandre Maubert’s vidéos with Daijiro Hama’s painting and the dancers, Kyoko Nomura (Monochrome Circus), Asuka Ueki, Eri Chian, Caitlin Coker and Mina Yoshida will be projected on the wall of the Kyoto International Manga
Museum, conductor and composer Yannick Paget will perform together with the electro artist Yohei Yamakado, playing percussion live (some made out of textile), and conducting the musicians scattered throughout the venue.

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Following the Manga Museum performance the artists will continue the experiment at UrBANGUILD inviting the public to join them for a night of hybrid performance, connecting music, contemporary dance, live painting and video.

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About Nuit Blanche Kyoto
Every autumn, Paris stages a one-night arts festival called Nuit Blanche (“White Night”) celebrating contemporary art. During this night, museums, private and public art galleries and other cultural institutions are open and free of charge, turning the centre of the city itself into a de facto art gallery and providing space for art installations, performances (music, film, dance, performance art), themed social gatherings, and other activities. For the 5th time, Kyoto, sister city of Paris, holds the companion event “Nuit Blanche Kyoto” in various spots around the city welcoming the public to enjoy both Japanese and French contemporary artworks for free and lighting up Kyoto’s night in a wide range of events including performances, exhibitions and projection mapping on building exteriors.

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In 2015 Nuit Blanche Kyoto presents : « Fashion x Contemporary Art » a promising wide-ranging program :
Paris and Kyoto: both cities have long good tradition of art and craft. Moreover both cities have developed a strong culture of fashion. Nuit Blanche Kyoto 2015 is considering the possibility of cultural exchange through a passage of fashion. We are somehow connected to fashion even when we are unconscious. It’s an everyday tool, a business and a medium of expression. We are contemplating how fashion and art are related from now on. In 21st. century, how do the two cities create in those fields? Nuit Blanche Kyoto 2015 introduces some remarkable works by artists, craftsman and designers under the theme of New Creation in Kyoto. We explores the new relations between art and fashion. We care for tradition but we need to find a way to reinvent it.
Advisors: Hiroshi Ashida (Seika University), Makoto Ishizeki (Kyoto Costume
Institute), Hiroshi Narumi (Kyoto Joshi University)
More information : http://www.nuitblanche.jp/en/

Venues : Kyoto International Manga Museum – 19:00
Karasuma-Oike, Nagakyo-ku. TEL/ 075-254-7414
URBANGUILD – Open 20:00 – Starts 20:30
Nakagyō-ku Kiyamachi dori, Sanjō Sagaru New Kyoto Building 3F
TEL/FAX 075-212-1125
Press Contact : Marguerite Paget / mgtpaget@gmail.com / Mob : 090 6556 1974

What is “Deep Kyoto”? ~ Some thoughts from Lonny Chick

In recent months the Deep Kyoto Group on Facebook has really taken on a life of its own, with members sharing events, photos, info, opinions and even fun little quizzes! It really does feel like it has naturally grown into a vibrant community and a center of friendly discussion. One of our frequent contributors is Lonny Chick, who is perhaps better known on Twitter and Flickr as Rekishi no Tabi, and his photographs and posts on historical matters are always fascinating. A recent discussion about the kind of content we would like to see more of in our group, inspired Lonny to write a wonderful meditation on what “deep Kyoto” means to him personally. It was so beautifully written and so full of heartfelt love for this city that I thought it deserved a wider audience, and I am very glad to say he has given me permission to reproduce it here.

*          *           *

What is “Deep Kyoto”? What does it mean to you?

I don’t mean this in terms of the Facebook Group, which is a stellar community and I do truly enjoy the posts, but what is “deep Kyoto”?

I ask myself this question a lot, as Kyoto is a very special place that resonates deep in me. It is a destination that allows me to forget the burdens of work and daily life and all the associated stress that really sometimes drags me down both mentally and physically. It is in Kyoto that I can find an inner peace, refresh myself and find the resolve to re-don my samurai salaryman armor to fight in the workplace trenches another day.

So what then is my “Deep Kyoto”? I think the best way to answer that is with a list. In no particular order, here is a portion of that list.

A Quiet Sunday in Kyoto by Lonny Chick

A Quiet Sunday in Kyoto © Lonny Chick – Click to view original.

1. It’s the feeling of joy to see the owners and senior staff of one of my favorite obanzai restaurants, who go out of their way to make me and my wife feel special. It is all about the omotenashi (hospitality) and the relationship that has developed over a decade with these people. It is the fact that the okami-san eagerly WANTS to talk about Japanese history and traditional culture with me. It’s the special sake that they bring out for me to sample. It is the box of chirimenjako or special Kyoto pickles that the okami-san presses into our hands to take back to Tokyo. It’s the master preparing extra special goodies for us, unsolicited. Again, Kyoto-style omotenashi really goes a long way with me.

2. It is the taste of botan nabe (wild boar hot pot) cooked in an iribancha tea-based broth on a cold winter’s night. It’s pure Kyoto and pure delight!

3. It is the smile of recognition and greeting one gets when seeing a geiko or maiko on the street who actually remembers you.

4. It is the sound of a shamisen accompanied by a singer emitting from the open second story machiya window on a hot and sultry summer’s night.

5. It’s running into Kyotoite friends on the street at night by pure chance who are on their way to a bar and drag you along, only to find out you will be drinking with a stunning geiko.

6. It is the sound of “kon-chiki-chin” music of the Gion Matsuri during Yoi-yoiyama up through the big parade every July 17. It just helps set the mood.

7. It is the feeling of being revitalized while walking through the Kibune Shrine complex, especially after a rainfall, or during a light drizzle. Water and the dragon god go hand in hand.

8. It is the feeling of deep relaxation and satisfaction one gets when sitting on the veranda at Entokuin or Eikandō, nearly all alone and undisturbed, staring out into the garden and thinking of absolutely nothing for about an hour.

9. It’s the subtle smile and sideways glance one gets from a favorite Buddhist statue.

10. It’s the conversation one has about “what constitutes the best cup of tea” with an accomplished tea master while sipping whisky in a small Gion bar run by a charming semi-retired geiko, who also has a treasure chest full of great stories.

11. It is being told by the owner of an ancient restaurant to wait until all the dinner customers are gone so you can have nearly a free reign to go and photograph just about every nook and cranny of the historic building.

12. It’s being told by the owner of a restaurant, which you are visiting for the first time, to wait until the last lunch customer is gone so he can show you how hamo is prepared.

13. It is just browsing in an antique store and talking to the owner about the history of a piece when he suddenly invites you to an impromptu tea ceremony in his shop using 15th century utensils.

Akai-san Prepares a Bowl of Matcha © Lonny Chick. Click for original image, and story!

Akai-san Prepares a Bowl of Matcha © Lonny Chick. Click for original image, and story!

14. It is the wonderful old architecture that co-exists with some interesting new structures.

15. It is a stroll down Kiyamachi at night, holding hands with your loved one, admiring the sakura and soaking up the history of the area.

16. It is stopping to dally around the Tatsumibashi bridge and shrine around midnight, while on the way back to your hotel, just to admire a sudden snowfall and watch the area slowly get blanketed in white.

17. It is the old couple who owns a kissaten, set in an old machiya, who invites you to come back tomorrow to just hang out and watch the carrying of the mikoshi (portable shrine) from their place during the Gion Matsuri and to get tested on Kyoto history knowledge via the Kyoto Kentei books.

18. It’s the sound of thundering hooves and the sight of a mounted archer whiz pass you while firing arrows at targets on the grounds of the Shimogamo Shrine during the Aoi Matsuri.

19. It’s just walking up and down the narrow walkway in the Pontochō at dusk, trying to count the number of languages you hear spoken, catching a glimpse of a geiko or maiko, and wondering how the area must have looked during the Bakumatsu period. Pontochō is magical at dusk.

20. It’s the sudden sense of being overcome with awe and wonderment when you are led upstairs to the Sumiya’s second floor to see the beautiful settings where courtesans and geiko mingled with Edo period literati and elites.

This list can go on and on, but this is just a part of my “deep Kyoto”.

Introducing Deep Kyoto’s Photo Tips & Tricks with Javier Montano

Today I am very pleased to welcome a new contributor to Deep Kyoto. Javier Montano is well known locally for his group photo walks as well as his own stunning photography. Here on Deep Kyoto, he will be writing once a month with advice for would be photographers. Take it away, Javier!

JavierPortrait-0080-2

Javier Montano

Hi, welcome to Deep Kyoto’s Photo Tips and Tricks. My name is Javier and I will be talking to you about to how to improve your photography. Just because you are not a photographer nor have a “professional” camera doesn’t mean you can’t take pretty pics. Ah photography, such a nice artistic pastime, you know. Nothing serious, or is it? For some of us it’s just a way of keeping a record of how our lives pass, but for others it keeps them awake at night thinking about how to look at the world differently, to create original art, and to show something in a new way. If you are somewhere in the middle, or one of the crazy ones who still think it’s possible to take the perfect photo (like myself), then this post is for you. I’ll be posting a pic periodically and telling some stories about how I made it happen. I hope this will allow your creativity to flow and will help you when it’s you behind the camera.

So let the adventures begin! For starters, I’ll leave you with this photo of beautiful Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺) or Temple of the Silver Pavilion, (click to enlarge) a 10 minute bike ride from my home in Kyoto. Let me know your thoughts. Mata ne… (for more visit my site: www.javiermontano.net or https://www.facebook.com/Daijoubuphotography)

javier montano pic