Opening on October 18th, the Biennale was held at Tsukuba Art Museum in Ibaraki prefecture. Postponed for several times, eleven artists participated in the exhibition curated by Takashi Ikezawa and Mitsuko Shinohara. Some of us who came from India, Japan, Bulgaria, Estonia and South Korea were in residence together for two weeks before the opening. My works were produced in Austria and at my second residence in Japan. So, after almost three years of waiting, I was facing a happy premiere myself.
With: Kang Heejoon, Maximova Tzvetelina, Janno Bergmann, Anita Gratzer, Szabó Réka, Mad Paule, Yuki Tora Furuwatari, Ushio Sakusabe, Daisaku Ueno, Kazuyuki Miyamoto, Shin Ngatsum, Satoshi Numata
To sort out my countless thoughts and ideas, the remote residency in Mänttä, Finland proves to be the ideal place. Here I can make the garments sufficiently stable for the use in performances, and find time to try out new materials and construction methods. Creating the right solutions so that the pieces can withstand the expected demands to be frequent folded and remain flexible, I use the methods of Oneironautic. Not being trained in the logic of engineering the proven method of lucid dreaming, a special state of awareness, helps be to master the obstacles in front of me. At the upcoming show at the Serlachius residency I will present some realizations of those drafts I did the last autumn. The exhibited garments will serve as templates and prototypes for my upcoming project in Japan. Called Pina-Odori it will feature a performance based on the crossover of the ritual movement patterns of Japanese Odori dance and the experimental dance theater “Kontakthof” by Pina Bausch.
To visit the Serlachius residency in Finland was a difficult trip. Due to the pandemic restrictions I had to quarantine for more than a week in Helsinki and Tampa. But reaching finally my destination it was worth the effort. Next to a lake and covered in freezing temperatures it turned out quite idyllic. What I had to find out the hard way was the distance between the studio and the apartment, a commute of 3km by bike and temperatures often below -20 degrees.
At the end of February I was able to hold an exhibition to show my recent work. The show was well attended despite some restrictions and was featured very prominently in the local newspaper.
I arrived in Switzerland one week before the lockdown facing not only the pandemic but also a three month isolation in my apartment and studio. Fortunately the residence was located in the old castle of Kaspar Stockalper built in the 17th century. On the bright side I could start working for my solo exhibition ‘Prosthetic Memories’ without any distraction. My focus was on wearable paper sculptures, taxidermy objects and some Covid related drawings. The residency lasted until August with the main exhibition in July when public events were possible again.
Born in isolation, the project “Prosthetic Memories” was originally inspired by Max Frisch’s story: Man appears in the Holocene. “Disasters are known only by man, nature knows no disasters” writes the author. His protagonist, alone in a valley in Ticino, he deals with the loss of memory in the narrative.
Onishi: In 2019 finally I was able to acquire my own home in Japan. Before that I rented different places all these years, where I stayed for a few months. By the way, this is the first house I ever owned. Together with my family I hope to settle down here soon. The house consists mainly of an old part, which was built 80 years ago in the traditional style. The rooms for the children, the kitchen and the bathroom were later built in modern style. The newest structure on our property is the garage. It is huge and will be transformed into a stylish studio for my work. And a motorcycle for my husband, I guess.
About 90km from Tokyo it is a reasonable commute. With two Onsen in town and woods and mountains around the corner I experienced it as a perfect place for work and leisure. But best of all I made a lot of friend over the years, many of them artists, which I am so eager to meet.
The Mark Rothko Art Center in Daugavpils was a former military base on the geographical edge to Russia. A handful of international and local artists were invited to held an photographic exhibition in the brink of an annual festivity. We were hosted very courteous and went on some trips together to learn abot the region and its history.
The Copper Leg Art Residency in Estonia was such a lovely experience with all this warm and nice people in this cold winter. The residency was located in an old school building which was transformed into a cultural hub for the area. I used to get the firewood early in the morning to heat my studio up. The exhibition turned out as a great party and an invitation to a traditional wedding the weekend after.