HAPPENINGText: Chiaki Sakaguchi

Day two in Tsumari. Breakfast at an inn was really delicious. I left the inn early in the morning to see works in Nakasato Village that I could not see yesterday. I drove the car around Tsumari area during my stay and on that day, my right arm was being scorched all day. I saw a work of Noe Aoki, who had a workshop with children to make a place where they want to stay alone, at a school playground of an ex-elementally school and I had a strange experience there. I thought a jungle gym with splints is her work and I was moved when I saw it. I still remember that there were many works, which we will never notice unless somebody tells us they are arts, in last triennial. Works of Tadashi Kawamata and Kim Sooja are ones of them and they completely camouflaged into scenery. What I expected to Tsumari might be a work that is not made as an object.

I was planning to see a work from Nobuho Nagasawa in Tokamachi Town but I went the wrong way. It was a narrow road in a mountain but according to the map, there is another work. On the way to that work, I had to walk and after going through a steep mountain path, I reached the top of a hill. A tea ceremony room was on that hill and experiencing a tea ceremony was the work. There were 5 or 6 people ahead and somebody told me that I had to wait about 30 minutes. So I decided to believe what my friend said, “it was worth waiting”. From a wooden bench under a tree, I could see mountains and roofs of a village. I sweated a lot after walking a steep road, so a wind from the mountains was really refreshing. Carpenter bees were buzzing around me. Many lives were in silence. My brain was really active from the morning but I noticed that in that atmosphere I gradually adjusted to Tsumari time.

Takahide Mizuuchi

The time in this place was the most luxurious and fullest time during the three days in Tsumari for me. I enjoyed this kind of moment where nature healsus is mentally richer than hastily looking at 250 works. The tearoom was located at the edge of the hill and the scenery spread out over a table. With that scenery as company, I enjoyed a green tea made by artist Takahide Mizuuchi. I found a question that was written at the bottom of the teacup. He participated in the last triennial as a member of Kohebitai (Little Snake Squad) and this year, he was chosen from the public subscription. He spent one year in Tsumari in order to make teacups with local people. I cannot describe his teacups as beautiful, but I strongly feel this young artists hope; creating chances to see people to visit. No more busy time. After this work, I decided to enjoy this trip and the winds and nature of Tsumari as much as I could.

Nobuho Nagawasa

Nobuho Nagawasa’s work could be found in a old private house that has been a vacant more than ten years. Portraits of three generations of a family were drawn in a revolving lantern and it was slowly turning around. A dumpy and humid smell in a dark house and a squeak sound of a wooden floor. They reminded me of summer when I visited my grand mother to take part in the Festival of the Dead (the traditional festival in Japan that is held for 3 days in August. It is said that spirits of ancestors come back to a house during these 3 days). Like a genetic inheritance that we can see in people’s face, will this kind of memory inherit to next generations?

I saw a group of people who were going around in a bus tour at Matsushiro stage. I exchanged information with them and we all reached to a conclusion: the most impressive works is the one that is worth looking even though it takes time to visit there. Everybody knew that after going through a long way, there is a big meaning of this event. A participated artist Ms Ritsuko Taura said Matsudai area is almost like an exhibition place but if you go deep in the mountains, you will feel more about this land” and I thought it was really true.

Jean-Michel Alberola “Little Utopian House”

I had a soba (a Japanese noodle) for lunch. I supposed to catch my miserable friend who were doing jobs at the inn but I lost my way again and reached to a work at deep in the mountains. Loosing a way was not a waste of time…

Jean-Michel Alberola “Little Utopian House”

“Little Utopian House” is a work of Jean-Michel Alberola from France. This is small house in a small community where only 9 people are living in 5 houses. A shape of a roof was like a dome and something like a French proverbs were written in Japanese on a ceiling. The fact that 9 people are living in 5 houses made me surprised more than this work. I was wondering how will this community and work will be ten years later from now.

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