Beppu contemporary art festival 2012: Mixed Bathing World

Photo by Toshie Kusamoto.*

Beppu contemporary art festival 2012: Mixed Bathing World

October 6–December 2, 2012

Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, Japan

www.mixedbathingworld.com

Producer: Jun’ya Yamaide. A visual artist who has presented exhibitions all over the world (Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, MoMA PS1 in New York, and so on) and Executive Director and founder of the BEPPU PROJECT, a Japanese NPO which is running art events on local and international scales.

Artistic director: Takashi Serizawa. Executive director of P3 art and environment.
Curators: Fumihiko Sumitomo, Norikazu Sato.

Beppu’s hot springs are known to have the second greatest volume of water of any hot-spring in the world. From October to December the city is the place to be to enjoy this amazing natural resource and experience the Beppu contemporary art festival 2012 Mixed Bathing World.

Mixed Bathing World 2012 will focus on eight projects in the fields of visual arts and dance. Eight geothermal hot spots, eight projects bubbling up here and there throughout the city inspire the notion of eight wellsprings of imagination. Visual and performing artists who will participate include: Hirose Satoshi, Yoko Higashino from the BABY-Q dance company along with other collaborating artists, Shilpa Gupta, Ikuyo Kuroda from the BATIK dance company and other performers at the Eikyu Beppu Theater, Ann Veronica Janssens, Christian Marclay, Tsuyoshi Ozawa and Qiu Zhijie.

One of the festival’s goal is to create a bridge between daily life, history and contemporary art. The historical aspect is very important in Beppu, as it is one of the rare Japanese cities that was unchanged by WWII. It is also important to consider people who are usually living a daily life where imagination is atrophied and where the physical experience is missing. The fundamental conception of Mixed Bathing World is to give birth to projects that can radically transform the city’s image and the daily life of its inhabitants.

Hirose Satoshi’s project is to resurrect vacant old houses by displaying intriguing works of art inside. He will transform a series of old nagaya (row) houses uncovering their latent potential to make historical architecture visible.

Dancers and performers will transform an entire shopping arcade into a theater. The arcade is one of the former shopping streets that has become an empty and nostalgic place. A renovated strip club will be an area for free-form performing arts  where a sideshow-like carnival will take place.

Shilpa Gupta will address issues of contemporary society in an age of advanceing globalization. Her work will transcend the feeling of dispossession of those who once had power and turn it into a message of hope.

The audience will be able to dip into a dramatic perceptual experience conceived by Ann Veronica Janssens in a disused commercial space, and then discover the otherworldly transformation of the city—by listening to the 100 differently-tuned bells of Christian Marclay.

Using a local landmark as a place to re-examine modernity, Tsuyoshi Ozawa will use the Beppu Tower to make wordplays with a neon light advertisement of Asahi Breweries.

And lastly the famous Beppu landscape will be transformed through a widespread display of large bamboo sculptures incorporating steam rising from hot springs, as realized by Qiu Zhijie.

Mixed Bathing World 2012 will ensure that each artistic project is an irreplaceable experience for each attendee, one that will remain in his or her memory. Along with the festival, a fringe event called “Beppu Art Month” has been created to give opportunity to all citizens to participate in the world of art. We warmly welcome you to step into the imaginative world that will emerge from this tremendous and unique contemporary art triennale.

*Image above:
Photo by Toshie Kusamoto. © Beppu Contemporary Art Festival: Mixed Bathing World Executive Committee.

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