Amazing paper cut art works by Rob Ryan

I went to see Rob Ryan’s paper cut art works yesterday.  (via @NoriFla Thanks!)

I really liked his fine, crisp but simple work, which has lovely “stories” inside. Sometimes the story is sentimental, sometimes happy, I will never get bored looking at these art. It might be interesting if it becomes animation…like moving pictures.

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They gave me an invitation card too. Amazing!

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Unfortunately yesterday was the last day for the exhibition, but seems he has a shop in Shoreditch. Go see it if you are interested in. I’m gonna visit there too!

Rob Ryan Website

Shun kin at Barbican (2)

Now the main stage, “Shunkin”. It was just fantastic. Probably I can say one of the best stages I’ve ever seen.

The story is based on a novel called “Shunkin sho”, written by Junichiro Tanizaki. It’s a story of a blind shamisen player “Shunkin” and a man who takes care of her, “Sakuke”. On this stage, story goes with the narrator who is recording the story for “NHK” programme in the current Japan, and the man in the narrated story who is visiting the grave of Shunkin and Sasuke, and the old Sasuke who talks about his memory of Shunkin , and the live Shunkin and the young Sasuke, which means four different time and places overlap each other. The stage setting looked quite simple, each scenes were described by the stage properties the actors used, and the lighting, and the images projected on the back of the stage. It might sound complicated to understand…but actually the four different time-lines smoothly crossed over, it was amazingly clear. Or ever rather, it created extremely beautiful and mysterious imagery of mixed world of abstract and reality.

Another favourite part was the main actress Eri Fukatsu and the “Shunkin doll”. The story starts when Shunkin is a child, but instead of using different actresses, they used “Bunraku” style dolls and Fukatsu controlled them. Her voice was cute but high-handed, and together with the doll’s plain face, it created quite mysterious, unique expression which I can’t explain by words. When Shunkin grew up, the dolls got bigger, and finally Fukatsu became Shunkin…and it was my favourite scene. But maybe some of you are going to see it from now, so I don’t write it here…Anyway, throughout the stage, Fukatsu’s aura was just brilliant.

I was so impressed by the director Simon McBurney who projected this Japanese story beautifully, perfectly, on a stage. In Eri Fukatsu’s interview, she explained that he begun the production by having a workshop with the actors, and they discussed about the each scenes from the original novel. She said it took so long to complete everything, but probably this approach reached to a deeper understanding of the original, Simon McBurney added his creativity to it, and then the outcome turned out as such a beautiful, attractive world. The stage has a lot of wonderful “pictures” in it.

I’m interested in his other production. Only the problem is, if my English is enough to understand serious stories without subtitles…

This is a review in the Guardian.

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Shun kin at Barbican (1) Honjo Hidetaro

Okay, the first writing after the re-launch is about the stage “Shun kin” which was performed at Barbican. And this entry is about its pre-show concert by Hidetaro Honjo. I’m afraid I didn’t know his name…but seems he is such a famous Shamisen player. He started it by learning “Nagauta” and “Minyo”. This time, he played some graceful pieces and sang some “Minyo” too. It was very delicate, beautiful tune. There is a lot of different types of Shamisen, but…for example, the powerful sounds of “Tsugaru-shamisen” always gives me energy. And gentle pieces make me remember the cities like Kyoto or Kamakura, and make me miss Japan so much. I wonder why. And I also wonder why its sound is so calm while they play it with a plectrum. This concert, really made me want to go home. This is his website.

onedotzero 2010

I went to see onedotzero as usual…however, I missed “J-star” I used to watch every year! No….but here is a quick report anyway.

The first one was “Sprites”. It was for kids, and the most of the audience was moms and kids! The works were more “cute” type of stuff.

The other one was “Extended Play”. This one was a bit more crazy…but the quality of the images were absolutely amazing! I was feeling really good watching them.

By the way, there were some installation as well, one of them was very very interesting. It uses “grids” on the wall, and by projecting lights and moving images it looks like 3D. Beginning with the starry sky, lights fall, the mountains wave, it was as if I was on a different planet. Quite impressive.

Right, I’m gonna see “J-star” next year again…

My blog has moved.

I haven’t written this blog for long time…but actually I was moving it to a new site. I used to use two different blog service for English version and Japanese version, and it was a bit tiresome to update both of them. So I installed WordPress on my own domain, and installed a multi-language plugin. Now I can edit both at the same time.

The reason why it took so long to re-launch…I moved everything by hand. I had to integrate two sites into one, but also wanted to check the content. Reading the entries one by one, I checked the links and moved all media resource into separate service. The pictures are now on Flickr, the videos are on Youtube…in this way I thought it would be easier to use resources in multiple places.

Anyway, I have 5 years long entries…some of them are extremely embarrassing! Arrogant comments, rubbish complaints…I’m still not sure if I have grown up since then, I feel so hopeless for myself. But one fact is that I have lots of friends and family who always support me, which means my life is happy anyway. This hopeless myself is still a part of me, so I kept all the entries.

On the other hand, one thing I need to learn from myself in the past is its energy to visit lots of places and effort to meet new people…I have been a bit weak recently.

Anyway, I’m going to start writing blog again. Check it out if you have time 🙂