Japanese Art & Music in the UK - Autumn 2017
Japan Matsuri 2017, a lantern-lit evening in a Japanese garden, and a bumper load of art and music events all await Japanese culture aficionados in the UK this autumn.
Read on to find out more about each event, from Japan Matsuri, the UK’s foremost Japanese culture festival, now an annual fixture in the capital’s cultural calendar, to Japanese jazz, prog pop and piano recitals and art exhibitions by Japanese artists of everything from artwork for anime backgrounds and modern sculpture to Japanese machine drawing and watercolours of National Trust properties.
HENRO 2017: An Exhibition by Takumasa Ono
The HENRO (meaning “pilgrimage” in Japanese) exhibition will feature a display of artworks by Takumasa Ono capturing National Trust properties, including water colours, screen prints and Japanese ink paintings.
Takumasa began making artworks of National Trust properties on a tour of the UK in 1999, with sketches of 58 properties. He continued the project as a visiting artist in 2001, developing his HENRO exhibition as an artist in residence with the Trust. Since then, he has produced hundreds of pieces of artwork featuring over 100 Trust properties. This year’s HENRO exhibition marks the 17th anniversary of the start of Takumasa’s own ‘pilgrimage’ with the National Trust.
The artist will be in residence during the exhibition, enabling visitors to find out more about his artwork and inspiration. Admission to the exhibition is free, but normal admission charges for the venue apply (£8.60 for adults, £4.30 for children, or £21.50 for a family ticket). See the artist’s website to find out more about his life and artistic creations.
When? 22 April - 3 September 2017
Where? Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan, near Cardiff CF5 6SU, South Wales
How much? Free (normal admission charges for the venue apply - see above)
Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan
Anime Architecture is the UK’s first ever exhibition of background illustrations from classic anime sci-fi films. It will feature drawings and paintings from some of the most influential productions from the genre’s heyday in the 1990s by a collection of artists whose work has had a defining influence on what we think of as the “typical” style of anime today.
These include watercolour paintings by Hiromasa Ogura for the classic 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell, as well as pencil drawings by Takashi Watabe for the 2008 sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Ogura’s paintings have informed pioneering sci-fi works outside of the anime world such as The Matrix and Avatar, while Watabe’s meticulously realistic style has become a hallmark of Japanese anime films. An unmissable opportunity for anime and sci-fi fans alike! For more information, see organiser House of Illustration’s website.
When? 26 May - 10 September 2017
Where? House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4BH
How much? £7.50
Pure Land Japanese Garden (lantern-lit garden evening)
Enjoy a lantern-lit garden evening in Nottinghamshire… In Japan, “toro” (traditional lanterns) were traditional originally only used in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths, and lit lanterns were considered an offering to Buddha. Later, during Japan’s Heian period (794-1185), they began to be used in Shinto shrines and private homes as well, and during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600), stone lanterns were popularised by tea masters, who used them as decoration in their gardens.
Garden lanterns are an ancient and venerable Japanese tradition, but traditional Japanese lantern-lit gardens are becoming increasingly rare even within Japan. Pure Land Japanese Garden in Nottinghamshire is the only place in Europe where you can currently take part in this beautiful experience.
Lanterns in the garden will be lit between 7pm-10pm on eleven evenings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September, allowing visitors to meander along the garden’s peaceful, lantern-lit pathways. For more information on Pure Land’s Japanese garden and meditation centre, see their website.
When? 4 August - 30 September 2017,
Where? Pure Land, North Clifton, Nr Newark, Nottinghamshire NG23 7AT
How much? £7.00 adults, £6.00 concessions (OAPs, students, unemployed, disabled), £4.00 children (over 5 years). Entrance fee includes entry to the Crystal Garden.
Jiro Takamatsu: The Temperature of Sculpture
For four decades, Takamatsu operated in the space between multiple schools of art - such as Dada, Surrealism and Minimalism - using multiple media - such as photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and performance - to investigate the origins of art. In 1964, he co-founded an artist collective that aimed to bring satirical and humorous actions and art directly onto the streets of Tokyo - items were dropped from high-rise buildings, commuter routes were disrupted, and streets were scrubbed clean with toothbrushs for the 1964 Olympics - and the exhibition pays particular attention to such rethinking of how art can be a part of everyday life.
How much? Free
Kumi Matsuo - Lunchtime Piano Recital in Cheltenham
Japanese pianist Kumi Matsuo will play a lunchtime concert at Cheltenham Town Hall from 1.05pm-2.00pm. Matsuo was born in Tokyo and moved to London in 2007 to study at the Royal College of Music. Since graduating with an MA in Performance, she has won two international piano competitions and made her debut on the New York music scene in 2014. The concert is being presented by the AJSW (Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex), and is a 20th anniversary event.
J.S. Bach / S. Rachmaninov: Prelude from Partita for Solo Violin No.3 in E major BWV 1006 transcribed for piano
J.S. Bach / F. Busoni: Chaconne in D Minor (Bach's Violin Partita "Chaconne" arranged by Busoni)
Franz Liszt: Grand études de Paganini (6 pieces together including the famous "La Campanella")
When? 5 September 2017
Where? Cheltenham Town Hall and Pittsville Pump Room, Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1QA
How much? £5.00
AUTO[MA]TION: Japanese Machine Drawing Exhibition
In his work, visual artist Damien Borowik investigates the art of making as aesthetics, using either analogue or digital processes to develop his own creative tools and explore their mark-making abilities.
In this exhibition of Japanese machine drawings inspired by the Japanese concept of “ma” (間), Borowik uses hand-crafted machines to create figurative and abstract drawings through the repetition of lines with an emphasis on the space in-between. So what is “ma”?
– Wikipedia, Aug 2017
Where? Sway Gallery, 70-72 Old Street, London EC1V 9AN
How much? Free
Makiko Hirabayashi Trio: Japanese Jazz Music in Dorking and London
Watermill Jazz Club: 13 September, 8:30pm
PizzaExpress Jazz Club: 14 September, 7pm
Hirabayashi has received widespread critical acclaim as an exciting voice on the international jazz scene since the release of her first trio album in 2006, releasing six albums in total as a leader, including three with her trio of legendary Danish drummer/percussionist Marilyn Mazur and bassist Klavs Hovman. With her trio, she has established her unique sound in recent years through performances at major jazz festivals in Europe, Japan, Egypt and Malaysia. The freshness of both her compositions and the trio’s vibrant interplay has caught the ears of many listeners around the world.
Now in its second year, Sounds of Denmark is a five-day jazz festival offering a window into one of Europe’s most vibrant and sophisticated jazz scenes, and the festival, featuring eight Danish groups including the trio, will showcase the dynamism and excitement of the contemporary Danish jazz scene.
Watch a sneak preview of the trio on Youtube here or here.
When? 13 & 14 September 2017
Where? (1) Betchworth Park Golf Club, Reigate Road, Dorking RH4 1NZ, (2) 10 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3RW
How much? (1) £21.00, (2) £18.00
Viva Sherry at the Cowley Club, Brighton
They will be provided with krautrock/electronic/funky support by three bands: London legends Now, local band Alskar Nu, and the event house band MoonDrive71 in association with Brighton Freakzone.
When? 16 September 2017
Where? Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JA
How much? £4
Japanese Films at the Raindance Film Festival
This year's line-up will include a number of UK premieres, including Atsuko Hirayanagi's Cannes-screened debut Oh Lucy!, Eiji Uchida's latest Love and Other Cults, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's kendo drama Mukoku and many more. For full details of the Japanese films being shown as part of the festival, please visit: festival.raindance.org .
When? 20 September 2017 - 1 October 2017
Where? Vue Leicester Square, 3 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7AL
How much? Individual tickets from £13 (weekday matinées before 5pm). A variety of passes and carnets are on offer; see the website for more details.
Japan Matsuri 2017
Where? Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
How much? The festival is free to enter!
Ryoji Ikeda - Test Pattern Live
Ryoji Ikeda, Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist, will perform Test Pattern, an audiovisual work presenting intense flickering black and white imagery synchronised to a powerful soundtrack. Ikeda’s latest work is the result of almost twenty years of research, and explores the relationship between art and sound by orchestrating sound, images, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions.
The project is being presented by The Japan Foundation in partnership with Thirty Three Thirty Three, The Barbican and Selfridges. The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, email your name and the title of the event to firstname.lastname@example.org. Performances times: Thursday, 28 September 2017: 7:30pm and 9:30pm.
When? 28 September 2017
Where? The Selfridges Old Hotel at Selfridges Oxford Street, London
How much? £22
Reiko Fujisawa – Piano Recitals Across the UK
When? 30 September, 19 October, 3.4,14 & 29 November, 10 December 2017
Where? Various - see above
How much? Some performances are free! Others cost £5-£18.