HAPPENINGText: Tatsuhiko Akutsu

Design Festa, one of the largest art festivals in Asia, was held through May 17th through 18th at Tokyo Big Site. On brilliant summer day, it was filled with excitement of people covering the entire floor. On entering the site, I immediately got caught up in the party mood.

Design Festa vol. 27

About 7000 artists from 28 countries in Asia, Europe, America as well as Japan exhibited their works in differed ways ranging from art, fashion to music. Each time it enlarges its scale; as it were, it’s growing with all the participants.

Design Festa vol. 27

Yasuhiko Ito, who has joined in Design Festa 3 times before, exhibited some highlighted works using Japanese traditional technique of Chigirie (to tear paper to create a collage). By using colored Washi, seemingly impressive subjects such as a vocalist, guitarist, or a smoking lady were softly completed in each of his works. He said, “In Design Festa, we can create the relationship between artists and visitors without any boundaries, and motivate ourselves through communicating them.” In the wake of Design Festa, he started to hold a one-man exhibition. He represented this event especially for young artists as a place of “investment in themselves”.

Design Festa vol. 27

The girl adding touches on a piece of paper is Koide Moeno, 10 years old artist. Complying with our requests, she wrote one of 17 inscriptions on bones and tortoise carapaces in Japanese Shuji style on the spot. Fascinated by their forms, in spite of her youth, she started to learn how to write them and decided this time to have her booth in Design Festa to deliver their attractions. Her earnest eyes and serious attitude in the presence of a sheet of paper reminded us of her spirit of an artist. Without distinction of age or sex, whoever wants to express are welcomed—it is one of attractions of Design Festa.

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Stefan Marx