Australian Embassy
Tokyo
Japan

Events 2012

OPEN STUDIO at Tokyo Wonder Site: Sue Pedley

15 December 2012

 

Australian artist Sue Pedley will exhibit documentation of Copper Ships and a series of collages titled, Soundings, at Tokyo Wonder Site's Open Studio.

Copper Ships explores the environmental impact of the copper trade between Tasmania and Japan.  Soundings is a series of collages inspired by a house Sue Pedley worked in the village of Kou on the island of Teshima.  Both works were informed by her participation in the Setouchi International Art Festival in 2010 on Teshima and a residency at LARQ (Land Art Research Queenstown) in Tasmania 2011.

During the Research Residency at Tokyo Wonder Site, Sue Pedley will also work with textile designer Reiko Sudo to develop an installation at Konno Hachiman Shrine in Shibuya.

Date

15 December 2012

 

13:00 - 18:00

15:00-16:30 Guest talk (O JUN, artist / associate professor at Tokyo University of the Arts)

Venue

Tokyo Wonder Site, Aoyama

COSMOS Aoyama SOUTH 3F 5-53-67 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

http://www.tokyo-ws.org/aoyama/index.html

Website: www.suepedley.com.au

Mike Nock’s second CD in 2012 ‘Kindred’ is now available in Japan

Starting 14 December 2012

Pianist/composer MIKE NOCK has been a leading figure on Australian jazz scene for more than a half century.  His trio appeared at Tokyo Jazz Festival in both 2010 and 2011 and impressed Japanese audience with their passionate performances.  Mike Nock was inducted into the Australian Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009.  His CD ‘Hear and Know’ won Best Australian Contemporary Jazz Album in 2012 and his previous CD ‘An Accumulation of Subtleties’ was awarded Best Australian Contemporary Jazz Album at the 2011 Bell Awards.

 

‘Kindred’ a collaboration with brilliant young percussionist Laurenz Pike is a selection of improvised piano/drum duets, expressing the beauty of an emotional and intellectual world.  This CD is now available at shops in Japan.  Please visit the following websites.

http://diskunion.net/portal/ct/detail/JZ121130-58

http://tower.jp/artist/194919/Mike-Nock

VINCE JONES– Greatest Australian Jazz Singer/ Trumpet player, First Performance in Japan

7 December 2012 - 9 December 2012

Leading Australian trumpeter and jazz singer Vince Jones to visits Japan

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1954, Jones migrated to Australia at the age of eleven. He started his professional career as a bebop trumpeter and, at the age of twenty, became captivated by R&B – admiring the technical brilliance, spontaneity and range of emotions expressed by R&B singers.  Jones then went on to become a leading jazz vocalist, incorporating both jazz and R&B influences. 

After his debut album Watch What Happens in 1981, Jones released a series of successful records. He is now a highly acclaimed songwriter, known for his stylish and unique compositions that transcend conventional music genres.  Despite being outside the mainstream, Jones has amassed a following of adoring fans all over the world.

This is a rare opportunity for music fans to listen to the cool depths of Jones’ unique voice and the rich sounds of his trumpet, live in Japan.

Band members

Vince Jones (vo, tp), Matt McMahon (p), Ben Waples (b), Simon Barker (ds), James Muller (g)

 

Book launch of the Routledge Companion to Contemporary Japanese Social Theory

24 November 2012

 

The main purpose of this event is to celebrate the publication of the new book, the Routledge Companion to Contemporary Japanese Social Theory. This work showcases the collaboration of many prominent Japanese and Australian social scientists and is the first of its kind. The book is meant to provide a detailed, systematic appraisal of the major traditions of social theory prominent in Japan today.

It features the newly commissioned work of some of the most well-respected Japanese scholars including Professor Kazuhisa Nishihara (President of the Society of Sociological Theory in Japan), Associate Professor Aiko Kashimura (Aichi University), Professor Masahiro Ogino (Dokkyo Medical University), Professor Yumiko Ehara (Tokyo Metropolitan University) and Professor Kiyomitsu Yui (Kobe University). Also contributing to this volume are many well respected scholars from Australia (e.g., Professor Emerita Chila Bulbeck (University of Adelaide); Dr. Laura Dales (University of Western Australia); Mr. Daniel Chaffee (Flinders University)) as well as those from other parts of the world  (e.g., Professor Roland Robertson (University of Aberdeen); Professor Bryan Turner (CUNY); Professor Axel Honneth (University of Frankfurt)). The book was organized and edited by Professor Anthony Elliott, Professor Masataka Katagiri and Professor Atsushi Sawai.

Wish You Were Here

16 November 2012 - 25 November 2012

 

Australian artist Courtney Coombs is coming to Tokyo in November for a solo exhibition and to host a short series of events.  

Coombs is completing a PhD in Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology.  She has been active in the Brisbane and Australian art scenes as an artist, public speaker and as a part of the LEVEL collective of women artists/curators.

Coombs’s works are conceptual in appearance, but behind these objects are the passionate thoughts of a young artist who describes art-making as if it were her love-life.  She describes art-making like a romantic relationship, including highs and lows; heartbreak and joy.

For her first exhibition in Japan, Coombs has chosen the gallery as her theme. As art historians tell us, the “white cube” is not empty nor neutral. Coombs' works urge the visitor to pay attention to the gallery space around them in unsuspecting ways.

Courtney Coombs will also host three related art events based on LEVEL art collective's (Courtney Coombs, Rachael Haynes & Alice Lang) ongoing project, "Food For Thought".  The events, which have been previously held in the Australian cities of Brisbane and Melbourne, combine social activism with art. Tokyo women are invited to participate by sharing a meal and talking about feminism and art.  With the help of an interpreter, discussions will be held in both Japanese and English.  Women who are interested in participating are encouraged to contact the organisers via foodforthoughttokyo@gmail.com

Special Lecture by Dr Deborah Hart, Senior Curator at the National Gallery of Australia

10 November 2012

During her visit to Japan as part of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs’ curator exchange program between Australia and Japan, Senior Curator at the National Gallery of Australia Dr Deborah Hart will present a lecture entitled “Australian Art: Modernism to Contemporary Towards a Vibrant Future.”  Dr Hart specialises in modern and contemporary art and she has organised many exhibitions at various galleries in the past.Dr Hart is now responsible for post-1920 Australian paintings and sculptures at the National Gallery of Australia.

Sarah Álainn Debut Concert “Celeste”

9 November 2012

Sarah Álainn, a vocal prodigy grew up in Sydney, Australia. To commemorate the debut album "Celeste", her first solo concert will be held in Japan.  A special one-off event featuring songs from the album, including popular songs from 1970s, such as Bread’s “If”, Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”, Japanese hit maker, Kazumasa Oda’s “Kotoba-ni-dekinai”, Sarah’s original song “Breath in me”, “I Still Call Australia Home”, the theme song of Qantas Airways and “The Final Time Traveler”, the ending theme of the game “Time Travelers” produced by level 5.  Sarah's solo violin performance  will be also performed live for the very first time.

Sarah Álainn

SuperDeluxe 10th Anniversary Live

2 November 2012

Australian electronic media artist Pia Van Gelder is scheduled to perform at the SuperDeluxe 10th Anniversary Live!  As a new standard-bearer for “live art”, Gelder controls images and sound using an analogue modular synthesizer, delivering a unique, innovative live performance.

Supported by Asialink, Gelder is conducting creative research into the unique space that exists in Japan between people and machines, investigating its complex origins.  She is interested in exploring the Shinto understanding of animism - the belief that all things have a spirit. She will engage in a diverse range of activities, including this performance, as part of her research.

https://www.super-deluxe.com

ALBARE iTD - Special Australian Show Case -

1 November 2012 - 2 November 2012

Born in Morocco and growing up in Israel and Lyon in France, Albare subsequently migrated to Australia where he was the first person to promote acid jazz. Highly recommended by prestigious jazz label Enja Records, Albare is a contemporary jazz guitarist who continues to evolve while remaining true to jazz traditions.  He is embarking on a world tour to promote his latest album, recorded in New York with a group of talented jazz musicians. Albare will visit Japan for the first time to perform live at the Cotton Club in Tokyo.

Albare believes that jazz is the world’s common language, and he has named his band iTD (international Travel Diary). Their beautiful sound created by band members from all the world, will take audiences on an international journey and allow them to catch a glimpse of Albare’s cosmopolitan view of life.

Members:
Albare (g), Phil Turcio (p), Phil Rex (b),  Pablo Bencid (ds)

ALBARE iTD

Sounds of Weather

30 October 2012 - 3 November 2012

The Sounds of Weather project (2011-2012), a cross-cultural collaboration between RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) and Musashino Art University (Tokyo,Japan), investigates ways in which weather events and conditions transform urban and natural environments. We listen to and look at the weather as a presence that surrounds and immerses us, one that deeply impacts our daily lives. This concluding event will be used to present artworks generated from different iterations of the project that spans the metropolises of Tokyo and Melbourne, and the rugged terrain of the Australian Alps and The Kimberley.

 

Participating Australian artists:

Philip Samartzis

Dominic Redfern

Simon Perry

Kristen Sharp

 

NICKI PARROTT– Australian Jazz Singer / Bassist who is active at the forefront in NY

Starting 29 October 2012

Australian Jazz Vocalist and String Bass Player Nicki Parrott Coming to Tokyo

Popular Australian jazz vocalist and double bass player Nicki Parrott will be performing at the Cotton Club in Tokyo for the first time in October.  Parrott grew up surrounded by music and first picked up a double bass when she was 15 years old.  She released her debut CD after studying jazz at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music.
In 1994, she travelled to New York to study with renowned bassist Rufus Reid.  During a stint as the bassist in the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York, she attracted attention for her double bass playing and stylish, silky-smooth vocals.  In 2007, she gained a significant following in Japan with her release of Moon River.  Parrott released new material in spring and summer and music lovers can look forward to a memorable performance to fill the cool autumn nights.

Band members:
Nicki Parrott (b,vo),
Jacob Fischer (g), John di Martino (p), Tim Horner (ds)

Nicki Parrott

Tarryn Gill, The Great Northern

27 October 2012

Tarryn Gill, "The Great Northern"

"The Great Northern" is a video work shot on location during a one month residency at the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada in March 2012. The work responds to local stories of haunting and the uncanny and it forms a visual part of Gill’s current research into psychology and history. It also sites pop culture references such as Kubrick’s "The Shining" (which is based on a murder that occurred at the Banff Springs Hotel - where part of The Great Northern was filmed) and Lynch’s Twin Peaks.?

Tarryn Gill

Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies "Res Artis General Meeting 2012 TOKYO”

26 October 2012 - 28 October 2012

 

Eighty leading members of the world art scene will gather in Tokyo to attend the Res Artis General Meeting 2012. This conference for artists-in-residence brings together speakers from all over the world, including directors of cultural organisations, presidents of art universities, high-profile curators and artists, art directors, dancers and choreographers to discuss how the arts have changed since the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami.

From Australia, Mr. Max Delany, Director of the Monash University Museum of Art, will talk at the session “S.13 New Creative Education Through Residency”(17:00-18:00 on 27 October at Tokyo Women's Plaza), Ms. Natalie King, Director of Utopia@Asialink at the University of Melbourne, will speak at the “Round Table 2 Pan-continental Collaboration” (9:30-10:45 28 October at United Nations University) session, and Ms. Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), will attend the “S.14 Cultural Policy on Creative Platform” (17:00-18:00 on 27 October at Tokyo Women's Plaza) session.

Australia is one of the most attractive countries for artists wishing to deepen communication and interaction with others because it welcomes those who bring in different cultures and viewpoints.  The country also has a wide variety of spaces and places for artists to work and to live in.


Monash University Museum of Art

Smart Illumination Yokohama 2012 art program / Pip&Pop “moon flower dream”

18 October 2012 - 4 November 2012

Australian artist Pip & Pop use everyday items such as dyes and sugar to create her fantastic fantasy spaces.  She will create an installation in the entrance of ZAIM, the former Kanto Finance Department Building in Yokohama. The work will be on display from Thursday, 18 October and the Pip & Pop will perform studio work at the Zo-No-Hana Terrace.  On the weekend, Pip & Pop will hold a workshop showing participants how to make some of the smaller parts that make up her creations.

"other lives" Jenny Watson

3 October 2012 - 22 October 2012

8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery is presenting "other lives", a solo exhibition by Australian artist, Jenny Watson from October 3 (Wed) until October 22 (Mon), 2012.

Jenny Watson was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1951. She majored in painting and later achieved an Education qualification. She always creates works which reflect what is on her mind, memories of childhood and her relation to the outside world. She paints on colourful and patterned fabric and linen as well as works on paper. More specifically she paints animals and situations she directly experiences as well as memories from her suburban Australian upbringing. Up to this point in her career she has had 60 solo exhibitions in Australia, and more than 50 solo exhibitions in Europe, Asia, India, New Zealand and the United States. She was the Australian representative in the 1993 Venice Biennale. In Japan, she presented the exhibition entitled "Child's Play" at Art Gallery, Yokohama Museum of Art in 2003.

This exhibition showcases seven paintings using material such as hessian, fifteen acrylic and water colour paintings and five lithograph works.

"Child's Play", Jenny Watson

Peter Grimes

2 October 2012 - 14 October 2012

 

Opera fans in Japan will have the rare opportunity to see the first full-scale opera masterpiece Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten, one of the greatest opera composers of the 20th century.

Set in a fishing village on the east coast of England, which shares some similarities with Britten’s home Aldeburgh, the story focuses on a lonely fisherman Peter Grimes, whom villagers suspect is guilty of murdering his apprentice. It is a modern production focusing on the confrontation between the group and the individual, while exploring issues such as poverty and child abuse. Britten’s music has a unique power and beauty, vividly portraying the calmness of ocean, the violence of storms and the emotions of characters.  The dramatic power of this work is guaranteed to make a deep impression on audiences.

From Australia, Stuart Skelton - who has attracted global attention as a heldentenor for the new era - will play the title role, Peter Grimes, and Jonathan Summers will play the role of Captain Balstrode.

Stuart Skelton

Jonathan Summers

Miss Tanaka

26 September 2012 - 30 September 2012

 

This marionette performance tells the story of pearl divers in Australia, focusing on Kazuhiko, a child born of Australian Aboriginal and Japanese parents. Before the Second World War, immigrants from Malaysia, the Philippines, China and Japan dived in the ocean off the coast of Broome in Australia to search for pearls – the highly-prized “jewels of the sea”. Money, love, discrimination – this fast-paced, sometimes comical performance explores the darker side of human beings trapped by their desires.

“Miss Tanaka” by Australian writer John Romeril will come to Japan this September for the first time ever!

Organised by Magozaburo Youki

Directed by Tengai Amano,

Music/Live performance by Matthew Doyle (Didgeridoo), Tony Lewis (Percussion) and Hiromichi Sakamoto (Cello)

These Fleeting Few

19 September 2012 - 23 September 2012

‘Leaves painted white and suspended from cicada legs cover the wall of the gallery; miniscule, atom-like pencil marks gather together and spread across the surface of a piece of paper; a single eyelash balances on the tip of a second hand removed from a watch...'

These are just some of the materials and techniques used in These Fleeting Few, an exhibition by Australian artist Jeremy Bakker who has been on a two-month residency at Youkobo Art Space. This exhibition explores Bakker's continuing interest in creating artworks that are evocative of something ineffable and sublime inherent within the commonplace details of human beings’ experience of the natural world.

Jeremy Bakker

Jörg Schmeisser Etchings Exhibition —Memories of Dreams— Part 1: Journey

15 September 2012 - 28 September 2012

Australia-based printmaker Jörg Schmeisser, who passed away in June this year, was well-known for his superior etching and printmaking skills. This exhibition looks back on his life in three stages, focusing on various themes using masterpieces chosen from among his many works.
Schmeisser’s artworks were the product of memories and experiences acquired through extensive travel and created in accordance with his unique world view.   15 masterpieces focusing on buildings and cities have been selected for the first stage of the exhibition.  The works feature Beijing, New York, Siena, Venice, Kyoto (Kiyomizudera) and Nara (Todaiji).

Jörg Schmeisser was the Head of Printmaking at the Canberra School of Art (now the Australian National University School of Art) for over 20 years following his appointment in 1978. Based in Canberra, he maintained his prolific output, even after his retirement from the university. His artworks are now held in collections all over the world, including the Australian National Gallery, the British Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Future Maestro Series 2012-2013 RAY CHEN - Violin Recital

14 September 2012 - 19 September 2012

Ray Chen, Taiwan-born Australian and winner of the 2009 Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition of Belgium, will be performing in Japan.

His "overwhelming victory of a genius" as the youngest competitor at the 2009 Queen Elizabeth Competition surprised the world and he has been garnering attention ever since. Having migrated to Australia at five months old, Chen started Suzuki method violin lessons in Australia from the age of four. He has visited Japan several times in the past and has received high acclaim every time.

Chen will be performing at the concert hall at Tokyo Opera City, Hiratsuka-shi (Kanagawa-ken) and Otsu-shi (Shiga-ken).

Ray Chen

6 countries, 6 styles

14 September 2012 - 24 September 2012

 

The works of six well-known ceramic artists from six different countries will be showcased together in Tokyo at the “6 Countries, 6 Styles” exhibition. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience diverse styles and ceramic techniques reflecting the cultures and backgrounds of each artist.

Australia will be represented by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, one of the most highly acclaimed contemporary potters in the world.   Her works are known for their use of mellow, deep-coloured glazes, similar to those of celadon porcelain from the Chinese Song dynasty. Since the 1980s, she has focused on creating installation artworks consisting of bottles and bowls, influenced by Italian painter Giorgio Morandi’s paintings. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2002.

Shonah Trescott "Drawn into the Light"

11 September 2012 - 8 December 2012

Ando Gallery is pleased to announce "Drawn into the Light", a second solo exhibition by Australian artist, Shonah Trescott.
Ms Trescott was born in Australia in 1982, and received a bachelor of fine arts with a major in painting from the National Art School in Sydney. She now lives and works in Berlin. At her 2010 exhibition’ "Mankind, Nature, Myth"- her first solo show in Japan - Ms Trescott attracted significant attention for her paintings which represent the primordial relationships between human beings and their natural surroundings.

In May of this year, Ms Trescott spent about one month as an artist-in-residence in Ny-Ålesund, located on an island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Circle. The Arctic wilderness is rich in natural resources and Ny-Ålesund once prospered as a coal mining town. At present, the settlement is run as an international base for scientific research for ten countries; Norway, Germany, France, Japan and other nations have research bases in the village to engage in environmental science research, focusing on specific areas including ozone depletion and the earth's atmosphere.

Through living with the local people and scientists, Ms Trescott deepened her awareness of accelerating global warming in the Arctic. At the same time, she was fascinated by the breathtaking natural scenery, the history and the coal mining past of Ny-Ålesund. In the landscapes, hidden myths and stories represented through Trescott’s own observations, abstraction and figuration coexist together, sometimes maintaining their differences and other times merging with each other.  Ms Trescott’s uses the medium of painting to portray the natural environment around her and the broadening of the visual sense between narrative and abstraction in an appealing way.

In this exhibition, paintings, photographs and silkscreen prints inspired by Ms Trescott’s experience living in the Arctic Circle will be exhibited.
 

Photo credit: 79 degrees North 1, 2012, Oil on canvas, 30x40cm

Australian Jazz Journey 2012

8 September 2012 - 15 September 2012

 

The Australian Embassy, Tokyo, and NHK Enterprises, Inc. have worked on a number of projects to introduce Australian jazz to Japan since the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange in 2006. This year, the organisers put out a call for Australian musicians interested in becoming Jazz Journey 2012 Navigators to expand this project and introduce more Australian artists with a diverse range of talents. One of the applicants, Steven Rossito from Melbourne, is blessed with a beautiful voice that belies his 18 years. He was chosen after a tough selection process by members of the screening committee and by popular vote.

Steven Rossito will participate in Tokyo Jazz held in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district as an Australian Jazz Navigator. He will be performing at [the CLUB] event at the Cotton Club (sold out) on Saturday 8 September and at [the PLAZA] event on the plaza in front of the Tokyo International Forum on Sunday 9 September. He is also scheduled to visit schools in earthquake- and tsunami-affected Iwate prefecture on Tuesday 11 September and will perform at Iwate Jazz 2012 on Saturday 15 September, interacting with people in Japan through jazz and showcasing Australian arts and culture.

NHK Enterprises, Inc.

Website: http://www.tokyo-jazz.com/

ELECTRIC EMPIRE

17 August 2012

Popular Australian trio Electric Empire (formed in 2009) will hold a special one-night-only encore performance as a follow-up to three highly acclaimed shows held in Tokyo on their first trip to Japan in February this year.  The group’s unique groove and melodies pay homage to legends including Stevie Wonder, Al Greene and Donny Hathaway.  All three members contribute their impressive vocals to the show to create a truly unforgettable night of music.  Don’t miss this chance to experience a new dimension of soul music.

Members

Dennis Dowlut (guitar,vocal)
Aaron Mendoza (keyboard,vocal)
Jason Heerah (drums,vocal)
Simon Olsen (bass)

ELECTRIC EMPIRE

20th Anniversary Tokyo-Chofu Kinder Film Festival

15 August 2012 - 19 August 2012

Founded in 1992, the Kinder Film Festival is the only international film festival for children in Japan. Over the years, the festival has introduced a variety of short films and animations from all over the world to Japan, including specially selected films from the Kinder Filmfest Berlin.

Japanese celebrities will provide live voice-overs for foreign-language films, creating a unique 'live cinema' experience for the audience.  Interactive sessions can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

This year, an Australian short film and an animation have been selected for the competition category.  The short film Julian (winner of the Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival) and Gus, a short animated feature, will be screened during the festival.  Julian will be accompanied by a 'live cinema' performance.

Matthew Moore, the director of Julian, and lead actor Ed Oxenbould are scheduled to make remarks on stage.

TOKYO KINDER FILM  http://www.kinder.co.jp

Photo credit:  © Honeydew Studios

18th JAALA International Art Exhibition

12 August 2012 - 19 August 2012

 

Australian artists from Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, one of Australia's longest running Aboriginal owned and operated art galleries, have been invited to exhibit at the JAALA exhibition.

The JAALA (Japan, Asian, African and Latin American Artists' Association) exhibition this year will include Aboriginal artworks for the first time in the history of the long-running JAALA Biennale.

The Boomalli artists exhibiting at the JAALA exhibition include Bronwyn Bancroft, Michelle Blakeney, Nicole Boeree, Jason Davidson, Charmaine Davis, Jenny Fraser, Danielle Gorogo, Kim Healey, Arone Meeks, Wayne Quilliam and Graham Toomey.


Photo: Graham Toomy, Gnoo-winng, Gwe-yong, 76×102cm, acrylic on canvas, 2012

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative

deBASE PRODUCTION at Kijimuna Festa FRINGE 2012

30 July 2012 - 31 July 2012

Hurry Up and Wait by deBASE productions from Australia will be presented at the Kijimuna Festa Fringe 2012. Hurry Up and Wait is a unique blend of Buster Keaton and Samuel Beckett loaded with exquisite physical comedy. The clown duo (Liz Skitch and Clint Bolster) provoke extreme emotional highs and lows as their interminable wait unfolds.

Commissioned for Queensland Theatre Company and created by deBASE Productions,  Hurry Up and Wait  has delighted over 20,000 children in Queensland Schools (2010), received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2011) and in 2012, in collaboration with Kazenoko Kyushu, has been adapted for a Japanese audience.

Kijimuna Festa Fringe 2012

Kijimuna Festa 2012

deBASE productions

Steven McRae in the 13th World Ballet Festival

29 July 2012 - 16 August 2012

The World Ballet Festival is a triennial ballet gala inaugurated in 1976.

With the participation of the world’s top ballet dancers from renowned ballet companies and playing an active part in the front line, the festival has been recognised as the most prestigious of its kind, showcasing the current state of the world ballet scene.

In this 13th festival, an Australian dancer representing the ballet of today, Steven McRae (The Royal Ballet) will make his first appearance.

Australia House at Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2012

29 July 2012 - 17 September 2012

 

'UTAKATA TAYUTAU the blinking of an eye' exhibition

19 July 2012 - 3 August 2012

Spiral is organising a two-woman exhibition ‘Utakata Tayutau – the blinking of an eye’.
For the exhibition, PIP & POP from Australia will develop a strikingly colourful installation by using coloured sugar and glue, painted vinyl sheets and kitsch model materials to be exhibited together with the Japanese Ai Yamaguchi installation. Striking rainbow colours and motifs by PIP & POP will show the lighter side, while Yamaguchi’s work will explore the darker side of women.
With these works sharing the same space, the exhibition will portray the mystique of women, shifting between light and darkness.

PIP&POP

Perth-based artists PIP & POP have exhibited extensively overseas. They have shown their work in Germany, England and at the Aichi Triennale 2010 in Japan.

Related events

PIP & POP Studio Work 
2 July (Mon) - 16 July(Mon) Spiral Garden Esplanade(Spiral M2F)

PIP & POP Workshop 
21 July(Sat) 14:00〜 Booking required. Free of charge.

VOiCE spiral communication & education program
World Channel vol. 02 ‘Australian Cultural Policy and our newly exchange’
To encourage exchange between Australia and Japan, Spiral will invite several art key persons and give an overview of Australia's cultural policy and art scene. The event will be held in cooperation with the Port Journey Project at Zou-no-hana Terrace, Yokohama.
2 Aug (Thur) 19:00- Spiral Garden (Spiral 1F)
Booking required. Capacity: 30 people. Free of charge.

Guests: Zara Stanhope (Independent Curator), Prue Crome (Artist), PIP & POP (Artist)

Photo: 『後朝』(2002) (c)ai yamaguch・ninyu works / PIP & POP 『Bing Bong Big Bang』 (2011) Kunstverein Ludwigsburg (c)PIP&POP

Anne Graham at Water and Land - Niigata Art Festival 2012

14 July 2012 - 24 December 2012

The 2012 Water and Land – Niigata Art Festival will be held from 14 July to 24 December 2012 at the former Bandaijima Fish Market near the mouth of the Shinano River and the Port of Niigata.   The theme of this second triennial festival is ‘turning points’.  Approximately 65 individuals and groups of artists will be exhibiting their works and interactive projects.  Locals will also hold a range of events to showcase Niigata attractions including performances, art, food, hospitality and walking tours.

This time, Australian artist Anne Graham will be re-exhibiting her work Shinohara’s House from the 2009 Water and Land – Niigata Art Festival.  This work utilises a house that was relocated from an abandoned village and is an installation enabling visitors to experience the history and character of the area, reviving the memories of people who lived there.

Photo by Osamu Nakamura

PORT JOURNEY YOKOHAMA-MELBOURNE PRUE CROME SOLO EXHIBITION "REFLECTION !"

12 July 2012 - 2 September 2012

PORT JOURNEY is a project by ZOU-NO-HANA TERRACE with the goal of building and sustaining inter-city relations through cultural exchange among port cities of the world.
The first exchange in the project is with Melbourne, an Australian port city having trade relations with Yokohama and home of artist Prue Crome. Crome comes to ZOU-NO-HANA TERRACE for her first exhibition in Japan, which will feature a three-week on-site work.
Crome, active throughout her native Australia, will be presenting her “experiential” work that transforms physical space through the use of light and colour.

Crome explains that art can be in the accumulation of individual experiences and activities that take place through one’s day-to-day life. She will attract people by visually transforming the terrace through colour and light that conjure the feeling of the very sea that connects the port cities.

Supported by:

Arts Victoria

West Space 

RMIT University at International Students' Poster Design Project “Climate Change”

9 July 2012 - 18 August 2012

The exhibition, International Students' Poster Design Project “Climate Change”—The Voice of Students from 20 Universities on 5 Continents regarding Environmental Issues—, features around 200 posters on the theme of Climate Change created by students from 20 universities in 14 countries. These posters were originally designed to be displayed at the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16) held in Cancun, Mexico in 2010.

The exhibition of these posters, which were created with unbridled creativity and sincerity, could have presented an excellent opportunity to increase awareness on environmental issues. However, the exhibition at COP 16 was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, and only some of the posters have since been exhibited in the form of a slide show. Therefore, the exhibition at Musashino Art University Museum & Library represents the first public exhibition of all the posters in printed form.

From Australia, a work by a student of RMIT University in Melbourne is shown at the exhibition, which aims to provide an opportunity for viewers to feel the “Power of Design” and its potential for the future.

Photo: Pellas, RMIT University, Australia

Extra Encore Performances of "Windmill Baby" by Rakutendan

4 July 2012 - 12 July 2012

The Rakutendan theatre troupe, well known for introducing many Australian plays to Japan, will hold encore performances of David Milroy’s contemporary classic play Windmill Baby in Tokyo (4,5,6 July) and Fukushima City (12 July). First performed in Japan in 2008,  Windmill Baby inspired such a positive reaction that encore performances were subsequently held in Tokyo, Iwaki (Fukushima Prefecture) and Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) in 2010.  The popularity of the play resulted in many requests for extra performances in Fukushima City after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.   Eager to assist those affected by the earthquake and tsunami, Rakutendan members decided to stage the play once again.  Performances will be held at Hokutopia in Kita-ku, Tokyo (where many evacuees currently reside) and Fukushima Terrsa in Fukushima City.

Following her performances in 2008 and 2010, veteran stage actress Hisako Ohkata will once again portray all twelve characters in this humorous yet sad fairy tale.  Ms Ohkata is well known for her roles in I Love Botchan and Yuki no Jo’o and her powerful performance makes Windmill Baby a must-see theatre production.

Synopsis

MayMay Starr, an old Aboriginal woman, returns to an abandoned cattle station in the surreal Kimberley landscape of azure skies and red dirt, to fulfill a promise under the shadow of the Windmill. In the poetic ‘campfire storyteller' tradition with musical backing, the play exposes the harsh relationships of the white Boss and Missus and Aboriginal workers. As MayMay experiences painful recollections of motherhood, loss and death in the context of colonial violence, her relationship to the earth spirits helps her come to terms with the past. 

Working as a servant on an outback homestead, MayMay struggles with Sally the cook for the hand of the drover Mal Bourne. When MayMay gets pregnant, her husband gives her a ruby ring and says if her baby is a girl then she would be called Ruby. But when she is forced to work too hard by her white boss, MayMay loses her baby. Sally shows her attraction for Wun-Man the disabled gardener, but Wun-Man likes the white man's wife. The white boss beats his wife and the servants when he gets drunk. When his wife accidentally falls pregnant, is just the beginning of MayMay's entanglements...

David Milroy

David Milroy (b. Perth, 1957; from the Palku, people of the Pilbara) is an Aboriginal playwright, director and dramaturg. He has won several awards, and has toured extensively. He worked at Dumbartung Aboriginal Artist Advisory where he established the prisoners art fund with Geoff Narkle. He tutored at ABmusic and composed the film music for Blackfellas, Exile and The Kingdom and for ABC National (Speaking-out). David was the Artistic Director of Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre (until 2003).

His writing and directing credits include King Hit, Runumuk, No Excuse, Muttacar, Sorry Business, Djildjit, In the Nyitting Time, Whaloo is that you? and Karl Karninyi (Welcome to My Fire). He directed No Shame (Mainstreet Theatre) and Polyglot Theatre in Melbourne. 

His musical direction includes Sistergirl and Dead Heart, Wild Cat Falling, Amys Monster, and Land of the little kings. His work with Yirra Yarkin includes Aliwa, Solid, Alice, Sally Morgan’s Cruel Wild Woman and Barking Gecko’s Our Own Worst Enemy

Windmill Baby won the Patrick White Award (2003), WA Equity Award (2006), Deadly Award (2006), and the Kate Challis RAKA Award (2007). 

While working beyond Indigenous categories he received an Australia Council Fellowship to make Kaltja as based on research of Campfire theatre and Indigenous puppetry from the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Public vote for Australian Jazz Journey "Navigator"

28 June 2012 - 4 July 2012

The Australian Embassy Tokyo and NHK Enterprises have been working to introduce Australian jazz to Japan since 2006, including through performances at Tokyo Jazz – one of the largest festivals of its kind in Japan. 

In 2012, the Australian musician(s) selected to participate in Tokyo Jazz will be decided through an open call.  The selected participant(s) will also undertake a goodwill tour of schools in earthquake- and tsunami-affected Iwate Prefecture (Application closed).

Out of many applications, the following five artists have been chosen as the finalists:
[Navigator candidate�] Andrea Keller Quartet
[Navigator candidate�] Daniel Gassin Trio
[Navigator candidate�] Dereb the Ambassador
[Navigator candidate�] Polymorphic Orkestra
[Navigator candidate�] Steven Rossitto

More information on the finalists and the vote (Japanese).

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2012

15 June 2012 - 30 June 2012

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2012 opening soon in Harajuku and Omotesando

The fourteenth annual Short Shorts Film Festival – founded by actor Tetsuya Bessho – will be held in June.  Over 4,400 entries have been submitted from 112 countries, with the best 100 selected for screening during the festival.  One winner will be chosen from each of the Official Competition categories – the International Competition, the Asia International Competition and the Japan Competition – with the Grand Prix being selected from among these winners.  The Grand Prix winning entry at this festival will be eligible to be nominated in the Short Film category of next year’s Academy Awards.

Five Australian films will be showing in the International Competition, including special screenings of I Love Sara Jane and Summer Break, both directed by Mia Wasikowska.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

I Love Sarah Jane 
Spencer Susser / Australia / 14:16 / Drama / 2008
Jimbo is 13. All he can think about is one girl, Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way - bullies, violence, chaos, zombies - nothing is going to stop him from finding a way into her world.
 

Summer Break 
Sean Kruck / Australia / 12:30 / Drama / 2009
A day in the life of two teenage boys hanging out in the suburbs on a summer's day.
 

At the Formal
Andrew Kavanagh / Australia / 7:44 / Experimental / 2011
Graduating students, parents and teachers mill around a hall grounds. It looks like a normal school formal. Parents take photos, clusters of 18 year olds chat excitedly, a boy is hoisted on the shoulders of friends. But as time goes on, uncanny moments hint at something else.
 

Seamstress
Gracie Otto / Australia / 17:34 / Drama / 2010
Clive, an ailing bird watcher, becomes obsessed with Penny, a seamstress living next door who is luring birds into her home. When he finally meets Penny, he discovers that she needs the birds to survive and that Clive holds the key to furthering the species.
 

The Stranger
Rodd Rathjen / Australia / 10:20 / Comedy / 2011
A brazen young man cruises the streets, searching for connection.
 

Open Call for Australian Jazz Journey 2012 participants

4 June 2012 - 19 June 2012

The Australian Embassy Tokyo and NHK Enterprises have been working to introduce Australian jazz to Japan since 2006, including through performances at Tokyo Jazz – one of the largest festivals of its kind in Japan. 

In 2012, the Australian musician(s) selected to participate in Tokyo Jazz will be decided through an open call.  The selected participant(s) will also undertake a goodwill tour of schools in earthquake- and tsunami-affected Iwate Prefecture.

More information about the program guidelines and the application form are below.

Application Guidelines
Application Form

The secretariat of the Australian Jazz Journey 2012 apologises for any inconvenience that may have caused potential applicants due to issues with the email address on Sunday 17 June 2012.
Please contact the following address if you had any trouble sending your files on Sunday 17 June 2012 by 24:00 (AEST) on Tuesday 19 July 2012.

australianjazzjourney2012@nhk-ep.co.jp

In case of failure, please resend an email to (australianjazzjourney2012@gmail.com).

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

2 June 2012 - 3 June 2012

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer is an innovative solo performance combining animation, finger puppets, a ukulele and songs.  This is the first performance in Japan by brilliant Australian multimedia performer Tim Watts who takes on multiple roles as producer, director, performer and puppeteer.

This performance is both a powerful work of art and top-quality entertainment - perfect for both children and adults, first-time theatre goers and seasoned theatre fans.  Alvin Sputnik has received positive reviews from a number of media outlets; a reviewer from broadwayworld.com was full of praise for the work, saying “I highly doubt any $40 million Broadway spectacles could pack such an emotional wallop into two-and-a-half hours as Mr. Watts does into 45 minutes”.  Audiences in the US, UK, Australia, South Korea and all over the world have been captivated by Alvin Sputnik.   This one-man show portrays a fascinating world full of love and adventure that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

Photo credit: Michelle Robin Anderson

Aboriginal Cultural Week Vol.1

29 May 2012 - 3 June 2012

Australia's Indigenous people have been living in harmony with nature in Australia for more than 50,000 years.
Although some Indigenous people have lost their original language, culture and lifestyle, many Aborigines continue to keep their traditions alive today.

This week-long Aboriginal cultural exhibition will introduce Australian Indigenous peoples' music and art to Japanese audiences.
The main highlight of the event is the visit by Yolngu artist Dhanggal Gurruwiwi from north-east Arnhem Land, who will participate in a painting demonstration and a cultural seminar. There will also be didgeridoo workshops and concerts, a photo exhibition from north-east Arnhem Land, a free reading space with books related to Aboriginal culture and sales of Aboriginal arts and crafts.

Benjamin Skepper Live Solo Music Performance and Surround Sound Exhibition

12 May 2012

On 12 May 2012, Benjamin Skepper returns to Japan to present a live and interactive sound exhibition marking the international release of his 3rd solo album “Inimitable”.

Skepper will transform the sacred Konno Hachiman Shrine in Shibuya, Tokyo, into a site-specific Surround Sound Installation, marking a new collaboration with surround sound designer AO.
The Surround Sound Installation will immerse the audience in sound. Skepper’s trademark LIVE electronic sampling on harpsichord and cello will be layered with field recordings to emulate the natural ecosystem of his hometown farm in Australia.

Skepper’s solo albums will be available for exclusive purchase on CD and limited edition 12” vinyl record (Album cover artwork by Ito Keiji of Unidentified Flying Graphics).

Alicia King at TWS Creator in residence

8 May 2012 - 3 August 2012

Alicia King is taking part in Tokyo Wonder Site(TWS)'s Exchange Residency Program and is staying at TWS Aoyama: Creator-in-Residence program from May to August, 2012.

Alicia King is an interdisciplinary artist based in Australia. In 2009, Alicia was awarded a PhD from the University of Tasmania for Transformations of the flesh; rupturing embodiment through biotechnology - an artistic exploration of relationships between biotech practices and the physical, ethical and ritual human and animal body. She has undertaken biotech projects through artistic research at SymbioticA; the University of Tasmania School of Medicine; and the Vrij University Amsterdam.

Ms King on the purpose of her Residency:
"While in Tokyo I will search for evidence of animism in contemporary urban Japanese culture.  I will explore the city for new materials, symbols and iconography referencing animism, the body and technology, biotechnology/synthetic/artificial life, and the body as a raw material. Traditions of Japanese animism and mysticism will also be researched through visiting relevant museums and galleries."

An open studio will be held on 21 July.

'Oranges and Sunshine' (Film)

Starting 14 April 2012

The powerful and provocative Australian-British co-production Oranges and Sunshine will be in Japanese cinemas from 14 April, 2012. It is based on the book “Empty Cradles” by Margaret Humphreys, the British social worker who, in the mid-1980s, uncovered the scandal of the forced deportation of more than 130,000 British children to Commonwealth countries, including Australia, in the post-war period until 1970. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants in November 2009.

The film stars acclaimed Australian actors, David Wenham (of Moulin Rouge! and Australia) and Hugo Weaving (of The Matrix, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Little Fish and The Lord of the Rings). Hugo Weaving won the  Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2011 for his role in Oranges and Sunshine. The film is produced by Emile Sherman, the Academy Award-winning Australian producer of The King’s Speech.
The film was also nominated in many other categories for the 2011 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, including Best Film, Best Editing, Best Costume Design and Best Lead Actor.

The film is set mainly in Perth and Bindoon, Western Australia, and most of the shooting was done in Adelaide, South Australia.

Mike Nock's CD 'Hear and Know' released in Japan

Starting 1 April 2012

Pianist/composer Mike Nock, inducted into the Australian Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009, has been a leading figure in Australian jazz for more than 50 years.  His last CD An Accumulation of Subtleties won the Best Australian Contemporary Jazz Album at the 2011 Bell Awards.  His trio appeared at Tokyo JAZZ Festival in 2010 and 2011 and impressed Japanese audiences with their passionate performances. 

For their latest CD Hear and Know, the trio is joined by two young talented musicians who bring their expressions of beauty, sensitivity and dynamism to Nock’s musical world.  This CD, which includes a booklet of shots from the recording session by Melbourne-based Jazz photographer Gerald Anderson, is now available in Japan. 

Mike Nock Trio Plus     Hear and Know (FWM 002)
- Mike Nock (piano)
- Ben Waples (bass)
- James Waples (drums)
- Karl Laskawski (tenor saxophone)
- Ken Allars (trumpet) 

Australia at ART FAIR TOKYO 2012

30 March 2012 - 1 April 2012

 

ART FAIR TOKYO 2012 will be held over three days this year during the spring cherry blossom season. For its seventh edition, the fair will present artworks from a range of genres and periods, including antiques, crafts, nihonga, modern art and the latest contemporary art as always, and will feature the more than 130 participating domestic and international galleries. This year, ART FAIR TOKYO 2012 is expanding our venue, taking up all of the Tokyo International Forum Exhibition Hall aiming for further development with fascinating programs and related-events.

From Australia, Tristian Koenig (Melbourne) and Utopian Slumps (Melbourne) will be participating at the “PROJECTS” section, devoted to young contemporary art galleries for the first time.

Tristian Koenig will present a solo exhibition of an emerging Australian artist, Karen Black.

Since graduating art school in 2010, Her work has already been acquired by numerous public and private collections in Australia and abroad, including ArtBank, Macquarie Bank, and Monash University Museum of Art. Her work is also held in private collections in New Zealand, China, Singapore and Taiwan.

Utopian Slumps will exhibit represented artist Misha Hollenbach. Hollenbach’s work to be exhibited at the fair will form a continuation of his 2011 solo exhibition at Utopian Slumps, Holey Hole!, where the artist explored a mergence of contemporary culture and tribalism through the collation of found images and objects to develop new meaning. Furthermore, Hollenbach is one half of clothing label and publisher Perks and Mini and the driving force behind art/music super group THE CHANGES.

In addition, as one of the participating artists for “project in PROJECTS” – a new section set up for exhibiting large-scale artworks and performances that cannot be shown within the confines of a regular booth, Heath Franco, a represented artist of Tristian Koenig, will be presenting his video work.

Furthermore, ANDO GALLERY (Tokyo) will feature a solo exhibition of an Australian artist, Shonah Trescott. The gallery will be presenting approximately 10 artworks including her recent series, “Terra Nullius” and “Two Thirds Sky” which represent one of her core themes in her landscape paintings: the primitive relation between mankind and nature.

Photo credit: Misha Hollenbach
Holey Hole! installation view, Utopian Slumps≫ 2011, Mixed media, Dimensions variable, Photographer: Jake Walker, Utopian Slumps

ITI Lecture Series:Ngapartji Ngapartji and contemporary Australian theatre

12 March 2012

In December 2011, the Japanese Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI/UNESCO) hosted a series of drama readings, entitled Theatre in Conflict Zones in which three plays from China, Cameroon and Australia were presented in Japan for the first time.  One of the plays, “Ngapartji Ngapartji”, written by Trevor Jamieson and Scott Rankin, is an epic play, based on the true story of the Australian Aboriginal community that was moved off their lands to make way for British atomic testing in the1950s.  With its witty and intriguing storytelling, it is a piece that has successfully described the contradictions and conflicts faced by contemporary society. The series of plays (including “Ngapartji Ngapartji”) in which Aboriginal actor Trevor Jamieson plays the main role have been presented at many European theatre festivals and garnered immense praise. The Japanese Centre of ITI/UNESCO has invited Scott Rankin to hold a roundtable introducing not only Aboriginal theatre but also contemporary Australian theatre in general.

 

Panelists:
Scott Rankin (Director & Playwright)
Keiji Sawada (Professor of Waseda University, translated “Ngapartji Ngapartji”)
Yoshio Wada (President of Japan Directors Association, directed the reading of “Ngapartji Ngapartji”)

A Discussion with Australian and Japanese Theatre Practitioners:How Theatre Faces Fears of the Nuclear

11 March 2012

Since 11 March 2011, Japanese people’s lives have drastically changed, due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. The damage caused by these tragedies will last for many years.
More than 30 years ago, the Japanese playwright Asaya Fujita wrote a play entitled "Rinkai Genso (Critical Illusion)", which responded to a series of accidents at nuclear power plants and fuels.
In Australia, Scott Rankin co-wrote the epic play "Ngapartji Ngapartji", based on the true story of the Aboriginal community moved off their lands to make way for British atomic testing in the 1950s.

A discussion on the role and responsibility of theatre practitioners on these critical issues involving both playwrights, will be held by the Japanese Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI/UNESCO). The event will be presented in collaboration with the "Phoenix Project" by Japan Directors Association and Sasazuka Factory.

Neil Malone solo residency exhibition: "Living winter, dreaming spring"

11 March 2012 - 25 March 2012

Born in 1950 in Melbourne, Australia, Neil Malone specialises in painting and printmaking, and was Head of Printmaking at the University of Melbourne Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Music between 2002 and 2012. He is returning to Youkobo, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, to undertake a three-month residency this winter. Neil says of the works resulting from the residency, “consideration is given to the essential necessity for reflection and contemplation to substantiate our notion of reality and self".

Masterworks of Ukiyo-e in an Australian Collection: Seminar at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies

8 March 2012

Dr Gary Hickey, Art History & Museum Studies, the University of Queensland will deliver a speech entitled “Masterworks of Ukiyo-e in an Australian Collection” on 8 March at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto.

In this seminar, former Curator of Asian Art at the National Gallery of Australia and academic Dr Hickey will be speaking about his current research into Australian collections of Japanese art.  The talk will focus on his research of ukiyo-e prints in the National Gallery of Victoria collection.

The speech will be delivered at the 165th Meeting of “Nichibunken Evening Seminar”, which is held regularly as part of workshops and international exchanges for foreign researchers on Japan.  The seminar will be conducted in English only.

'Remembering Babylon' published in Japan

Starting 29 February 2012

One of the masterpieces of contemporary Australian fiction, David Malouf's Remembering Babylon, is now available in Japanese.

The translation – published by Gendai Kikakushitsu Publishing with the support of the Australia-Japan Foundation – was launched at the Australian Embassy on 28 February by Australian Ambassador Bruce Miller.

Remembering Babylon is the first of a series of Australian contemporary novels to be translated and published in Japan by Gendai Kikakushitsu Publishing.

Remembering Babylon has won a number of international awards, including the inaugural International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award – one of the most lucrative literary prizes in the world – the Prix Baudelaire, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Best Novel), and was shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

More Information

ABC Radio National: Books and Arts Daily - Australian Literature in Translation

Modern and Contemporary Australian Art: A Scholarly Interchange

19 February 2012

A workshop for the Exchange Program between the University of Sydney and the University of Tsukuba will be held on Sunday, 19 February 2012 at the Tokyo Campus of the University of Tsukuba.

Three Australian art history researchers from the University of Sydney, Prof. Roger Benjamin, Dr Anita Callaway, Nelson Meers Foundation Lecturer in Australian Art, and Dr Ajioka Chiaki, Art Historian and Curator of the exhibition “Japan in Sydney” (Art Gallery, University Museums) will participate in the workshop.  They will report on modern and contemporary Australian arts, including topics such as the introduction of the Department of Art History and Film Studies, Prof. Arthur Lindsay Sadler and his role in the relationship between Japan and Sydney,  Aboriginal arts and more. 

Prof. Toshiharu Omuka, Faculty Chair, Faculty of Art & Design, the University of Tsukuba will lead the discussion.

This workshop will be a good opportunity to understand and get further acquainted with modern and contemporary Australian arts.

Photo: The Woodblock bookplate by Tsutomu Fujinami (Around 1930)

Art Resources in Tsukuba
University of Sydney

 

Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory Printmaking Residence Program for mid-career

17 February 2012 - 29 March 2012

Jaqueline Gribbine has been invited to the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory Artist-in-Residence following her presentation on “the wood block print in Australia” at last year’s  first International Woodblock Print Conference held in Japan.

Ms Gribbine is a workshop manager and chief printer at Northern Editions, a studio and gallery at Charles Darwin University.  She has been working to promote and teach water pigment woodblock printmaking to Aboriginal communities.

Four internationally active artists from Australia, the USA, the UK and Japan will be participating in the Artist-in-Residence program from 17 February.  In the first week, they will stay in Tokyo where the resident artists’ review exhibition will be held.   After that, they will move to Lake Kawaguchi to work on their artworks and research the woodblock print for each project’s theme.  Various events, including an artist talk and an open studio in cooperation with the local community are planned.  In April, the exhibition of their artworks created during the residency will be presented at the CfSHE/MI-LAB Gallery.
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, In Fiscal Year 2011

ELECTRIC EMPIRE with DJs presented by “Good Music Parlor”

8 February 2012 - 10 February 2012

Electric Empire, an Australian trio band with talk of ‘70s sound influences, will come to Japan for their first live performance at Blue Note Tokyo.

Electric Empire was formed in Melbourne, with Dennis Dowlut (songwriter), Aaron Mendoza (key boards) and Jason Heerah (drum).  You can feel their respect to the classic soul era of Stevie Wonder, AL Green and Donny Hathaway by their grooves, melody touch and the prominent lead vocal performance by all their members which are very highly recognised.

Electric Empire is now active both in Australia and abroad. They delivered a live performance at the famous Royal Albert Hall in London in 2011 and their first album became a bestseller as a strong recommended album on the international charts.

ELECTRIC EMPIRE

PORT JOURNEY Yokohama ⇔ Melbourne Artist Talk: Prue Crome

6 February 2012 - 12 February 2012

The ZOU-NO-HANA’s international project for cultural exchange, ‘PORT JOURNEY Yokohama↔Melbourne’ (*) has formed a partnership relation with WEST SPACE, Melbourne’s leading artist run organisation in December 2011.

In support of Zara Stanhope, Melbourne based curator, Prue Crome, Melbourne based artist, will participate in this exchange program with WEST SPACE from 6 – 12 February in Yokohama and deliver an artist talk on 10 February.

Ms Crome has been actively exhibiting her dynamic site specific installation works by using daily use equipments such as artificial light, natural light, colour, line and glass.  Her works transform not only the space but also the function of the space.

Prior to her exhibition planned at the ZOU-NO-HANA terrace in July 2012, Ms Crome will introduce her new installation works at the artist talk.  She will also give an introduction to her past artistic practice and will share her research and its outcome in Yokohama where she will investigate various materials and approaches to compose her new site-specific installation work.

(*)
PORT JOURNEY is ZOU-NO-HANA’s international project that attempts cultural exchanges with Yokohama’s sister port cities and affiliated port cities across the world. The project invites leaders and well-informed people in cultural fields and hold series of discussions and developing cultural contents that create opportunities to engage with urban culture of various genres. From September 2011, the exchange with Melbourne, Australia has been started. The exchanges with other cities are planned such as San Diego (USA), Shanghai (China), Hamburg (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), Bristol (U.K.), Vancouver (Canada).

Photo: Prue Crome, Spaceplay RGB,2010 West Wing, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

'The Hunter' (Film)

Starting 4 February 2012

 

The Hunter is a powerful psychological drama that tells the story of Martin (Willem Dafoe), a mercenary sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wildness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian Tiger.  Filming took place in a variety of locations in Tasmania, with spectacular footage of Tasmania's diverse landscapes portrayed in the film.

Directed by Sydney-based director Daniel Nettheim and produced by Vincent Sheehan of the prolific Porchlight Films, The Hunter stars two time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe, Australian Film INdustry Award winner (Blessed, 2009) and Golden Globe nominated (Madame Bovary, 2000) Frances O'Connor and Sam Neill.  

Based on the debut novel by Julia Leigh, The Hunter was first published in Australia in 1999 to broad critical acclaim.  It has been published in all major territories and translated into nine languages.  It was internationally short listed for many prizes and won a Betty Trask Award (UK), the Prix de L'Astrolabe Etonnants Voyageurs (France), and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. 

Ms Leigh was named a Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year (Australia) and 'one of 21 writers for the 21st century' by the Observer (UK).  Ms Leigh recently wrote and directed the feature film Sleeping Beauty.

In cinemas on 4 February 2011
Marunouchi Louvre etc., and all Japan Roadshow

Aimee Smith & Ben Taaffe Performance Installation “Borderlines” at Kyoto Art Centre

4 February 2012 - 5 February 2012

Australian artists, Aimee Smith (Dancer & Choreographer) and Ben Taaffe (Sound Artist) are participating in the Kyoto Art Centre's Artist-in-Residence Program from November 2011 to February 2012.

Ms Smith and Mr Taaffe will deliver their performance installation at Kyoto Art Centre on 4th and 5th February.  The theme of the residency “Borderlines” expresses their views and experiences as outsiders, having stayed in Kyoto for three months as foreigners.

What are the borderlines between personal value and social community? What drives people when they are about to cross the borderlines?  Using collected materials of photos and sounds in Kyoto, and working with live performances, sound installations and films from various points of view, Ms Smith and Mr Taaffe will present their answers for the “Borderlines” they’ve found throughout the residency period in Kyoto.

Performance Installation “Borderlines”:
Concept: Aimee Smith and Ben Taaffe
Sound design: Ben Taaffe
Performance: Aimee Smith

Production note:
Living at the precipice of change.
What does it take to cross the line?
Exploring the themes of borders, boundaries, barriers and breaking through.
 - Aimee Smith and Ben Taaffe

Shirase Antarctic Expedition: Centennial Anniversary Project - Commemorative Lecture

28 January 2012

The Shirase Antarctic Research Team, led by Lieutenant Nobu Shirase, departed for Antarctica on the Kainan Maru in 1911.  On the way to Antarctica, they called at the Port of Sydney.  At that time Professor Edgeworth David of University of Sydney supported the expedition, and from that point on, their relationship has been as an example of Japanese-Australian friendship.

As one of the events for the Centennial Anniversary of the Shirase Antarctic Research Team Project, Tony Godfrey-Smith, the great-grandson of Professor David, is visiting Japan to present a commemorative lecture in Nikao city, Akita prefecture.  Mr Godfrey-Smith will provide an Australian perspective on the expedition’s visit to Sydney between May and November 1911, including an overview of Professor David’s life, the good relations between Professor David and Lieutenant Shirase and the story of the Sword of Friendship.
Photo credit:Front-middle (Lieutenant Nobu Shirase), Front-right (Prof. Edgeworth David), Front-left (Sir Douglas Mawson)

'Animal Kingdom' (Film)

Starting 21 January 2012

Animal Kingdom, a powerful Australian crime drama, will be released in Japan in January 2012.  The film explores the tense battle between a criminal family and the police, and the ordinary lives caught in the middle. 

Animal Kingdom was nominated for a record 18 Australian Film Institute Awards in 2010, winning 10 (including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress).  It also won the World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival and  the New York Film Critics Circle's Best First Film.  It has received overwhelming acclaim from critics and general audiences alike.

Jacki Weaver, a well-known Australian film and theatre actress was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 83rd Academy Awards and the 68th Golden Globe Awards. 

Quentin Tarantino listed Animal Kingdom as his third favourite film of 2010.

In Cinemas on 21 January 2012
 

Oren Ambarchi - Shows in Japan

19 January 2012 - 30 January 2012

Oren Ambarchi is an Australian sound artist with a longstanding interest in transcending conventional instrumental approaches.  Mr Ambarchi will present four live performances in Japan.  He will participate in the CCA sound workshop, organised by the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Kitakyushu, on 19 January with Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rourke.  They have come together to collaborate with renowned Belgian composer, vocalist and visual artist Charlemagne Palestine.  This is a part of CCA Kitakyushu’s annual research program.
 
Three other live performances are also planned: one in Kyoto on 22 January and two in Tokyo on 26 and 30 January.
 
Mr Ambarchi’s work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, "re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation". (The Wire, UK).
 
His experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities.   Mr Ambarchi has employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar.
 

Australian Chamber Orchestra at the 3rd Niseko Winter Music Festival

12 January 2012 - 14 January 2012

Four evening performances by the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) will be held in three cosy halls near Niseko Village on 12-14 January, 2012.

Richard Tognetti, Artistic Director & Lead Violin, is well-known as an avid skier.  Add that to his penchant for running festivals in off-beat locations, and the ACO presents a winter music festival in the heart of Japan's prime ski fields.  Niseko, on the island of Hokkaido in Japan's far north, is renowned as one of the world's lightest and driest powder skiing destinations, and for its fabulous ski runs, mountain scenery and hot springs.

The ACO has toured Japan four times in the last three years and has been attracting Japanese audiences with their stunning and stylish staging.  Joining Mr Tognetti and musicians and emerging artists from the ACO is one of Japan's favourite sons, classical guitarist, Yasuji Ohagi and local Taiko drummers, Yotei Taiko Koryu.

 

The Novocaines - Shows in Japan

11 January 2012 - 15 January 2012

The Australian rock band The Novocaines will perform live in Japan from 11 to 15 January 2012.  The band was originally formed in the small farm town of Northam in Western Australia, close to Perth.  A punch in the arm from Dave Grohl, a thumbs up from Josh Homme, and a quiet nod from Jon Paul Jones are just a few of the reasons why The Novocaines are fast becoming one of the hottest independent bands in the world.
 
Members include brothers Corey (vocals/harmonica) and Jay Marriott (guitar), Steven Turnock (bass) and Liam Young (drum).  They are young, with an average age of 21, but have played abroad over last couple years, including at the South By South West music festival in Austin, Texas and Hollywood, California.  They have opened for artists including Them Crooked Vultures, Spinnerette, and Shonen Knife.  The band has also played at the Big Day Out, an annual rock festival in Australia.
 

Seto International Ceramic & Glass Art Exchange Program 2011-2012

4 January 2012 - 10 February 2012

Sally Walk, based in Melbourne, Australia, is one of four artists invited to the Seto International Ceramic and Glass Art Exchange Program 2011-2012, organised by Seto City and sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.  Ms Walk will create and exhibit her works while in residence in Seto.

Ms Walk's work primarily talks about pressure, tension and isolation and she is interested in human behaviour.   Currently she is exploring the idea of disguised eccentricities.  She is interested in how we as a society require a certain outward appearance to ensure success.  Not only success in our workplace, but also our friendship groups and family.

She has also been exploring 'Baroque' art with its exaggerated forms and pattern and uses this idea as a way of representing eccentricities in her sculpture.  Baroque favours energy and movement with exaggerat