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Yasuo Ozawa's Ce Qui Arrive: Part Two
November 22, 2011
For one night only the legendary artist behind the Japan Performance / Art Institute unveils a spectacular at Hana-Yashiki in Asakusa Tokyo
- Text by Satellite Voices
Guest Feature by Kayoko Nakanishi / Continued from yesterday's interview...
Yasuo Ozawa's iconic work in theatrical art is a diverse and unique performance that spans modern art, media art and music. Ozawa launched the Japan Performance/Art Institute in 2008 and he continues to produce spectacular events only in non-theatrical venues. Last year Ozawa took a job at Nam June Pike Art Center in Korea to introduce young and inspiring performance artists in Japan and on November 26 unveils his latest opus. Taking over the historic Hana-Yashiki amusment park in Asakusa, Tokyo "Ce Qui Arrive" is a futuristic and unmissable event.
Satellite Voices: Let’s talk about Japan Performance/Art Institute?
Yasuo Ozawa: It’s been three years since I launched the institute, and it’s time to make a new history of “Japanese Performance Art”. We need to introduce new artists by any means. When Ms. RoseLee Goldberg came to Japan in 2004 and gave us a lecture, I strongly felt that her knowledge of Japanese performance art stopped in 60s. She might not know what is happening in current Japanese art world, but it was not her fault. I always try to create art which you can understand in any countries. So it was an honour when Nam June Pike Art Center called me to introduce our works ("Out of Place, Out of Time, Out of Performance" (2010) and "Performance: NJP Summer Festival 21 Room" (2011)).
SV: You work in various genres of art; contemporary dance, modern art, theatrical play, and music. What is your definition of performance art?
Yasuo Ozawa: If I could define it in a large way, performance art is “act of physical expression”. It originally came form modern art context, but I personally feel that we can expand the boundary a bit wider. There is a reason why we put “/” between “Performance” and “Art” in “Japan Performance/Art Institution”. You may think “/” means both “and” and “or”. Some people may take “/” as just a sign, and divide “Performance” and “Art” and find a whole new meaning in them. We want to create new genres, new products by mixing performance/music, performance/fashion, performance/architecture. We believe “Ce Qui Arrive” is fun even if you aren’t interested in performance art. What is important is to stay open to new things.
SV: Please tell us the relationship between you and Tokyo. What kind of influence the earthquake would give to your way of thinking and your next projects?
Yasuo Ozawa: In Tokyo, you can find good food anywhere, walk around the city in midnight, and come by fun events, movies, entertainment and information just in a second. I came to Tokyo about 20-years-ago, and this earthquake made me fond of Tokyo more. Our economy would slow down, and the things would get worse. I want to give this gratitude back to the city. Actually, my birthday is March 11 and I do feel some kind of fate. I think we need to continue what we’ve been doing as independent artists before the earthquake. Alternative artists can survive under such circumstances. If you’re talking survival, now is the best time for independent artists to bloom.
He established a planning/producing company “precog” in 2003 and retired from it in 2008, and in the same year he established Japan Performance/Art Institute. He produces contemporary dance, contemporary art, contemporary theatre, media arts and music with no regard to the boundaries among preexisting genres. Among his recent works are “HARAJUKU PERFORMANCE +Special” at Laforet Museum, “21st Century Lecture” at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, “Super Japanese Performance Theory” at Bigakko, “Blackout Expo” as the opening performance of International Festival for Arts and Media Yokohama, “Postmainstream Perfor ming Arts Festival 2010,” “LAFORET SOUND MUSEUM 2010” and “Out of Place, Out of Time, Out of Performance” at Nam June Paik Art Center in Korea.
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