Sat, Sep 17, 2022 - Sun, Dec 18
A series of video installations around Towada City by interdisciplinary artist Aoyagi Natsumi
Towada Art Center will hold a solo exhibition of the artist Aoyagi Natsumi at its satellite venue space from Saturday, September 17 to Sunday, December 18, 2022.
In her practice, Aoyagi Natsumi uses moving image and writing to capture the invisible and engage with her surrounding environment. In recent years, she has explored the contemporary nature of the individual as well as ways to observe this through crowdsourcing and collecting the stories and images of others.
Marking her first solo show in six years, the exhibition presents artworks in the form of a fictional nautical logbook inspired by the Chinese sea goddess Mazu, belief in whom spread through sea travel. A ship or boat is no longer a means of transport that most of us use regularly in our everyday lives, but was once the only way of traveling to a distant place and enabled people to embark on dangerous adventures to unknown lands. From records of sea voyages to science fiction’s spacecraft, ships have appeared in countless examples of literature over the centuries. Belief in the sea goddess Mazu spread across East Asia as seafarers moved around the region. Cocktails are said to have developed as a way of keeping sailors hydrated and healthy during long sea voyages in the Age of Discovery. The exhibition features video installations interweaving such nautical elements from past and present, East and West, and unfolding like a picture book across six locations in Towada: the art center’s satellite venue, space, and its café as well as a flower shop, spa, and two bars. The hopes and struggles of the vast numbers of people who crossed the seas in the past, along with the living creatures, alcoholic drinks, and beliefs rooted in each place. The shipless logbook that Aoyagi creates invites us, living as we do in uncertain times, to embark on a journey where we encounter these people and things, still quietly living in our present-day world.
*Translations of each exhibit are available via the following link. PDF
Artist. Born in 1990 in Tokyo. After observing the growth processes of the things that surround us—from insects and people to plants and landscapes—Aoyagi Natsumi has explored ways of expressing these processes without being bound to any one medium. Through repeated research and fieldwork, she aims to let the viewer experience her subjects exactly as she has experienced them, well aware of the impossibility of such a proposition. She completed studies in the Department of New Media at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, in 2016. Aoyagi’s recent projects include TWO PRIVATE ROOMS—A Circle of Reading (online project, 2020 –) and New Ways to Grow: Artists Envision a Post-COVID World (The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, 2021). She is a key member of the practitioner art collective that goes by the name honkbooks. She also works under the pseudonym “datsuo.” datsuo.com
Address: 18-20 Nishi-Sanbancho, Towada City, Aomori Prefecture
Opening times: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (Tuesday–Sunday)
Towada Art Center Café
Address: 10-9 Nishi-Nibancho, Towada City, Aomori Prefecture
Opening times: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (Tuesday–Sunday)
Airi no Heya (bar)
Address: 2-48 Higashi-Nibancho, Towada City, Aomori Prefecture
Opening times: 8 p.m.–12 p.m. (Monday–Sunday)
Cocktail Bar RED DOOR
Address: 1-47 Higashi-Sanbancho, Towada City, Aomori Prefecture
Opening times: 7:05 p.m.–2 a.m. (Tuesday–Saturday)
Tashima Flower Shop
Address: 18-5 Inaoicho, Towada City, Aomori Prefecture
Opening times: 9 a.m.–6:30 p.m. (Monday–Saturday), 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (Sundays, national holidays) (closed every first Sunday)
Michinoku Onsen (spa)
Address: 21-5 Higashi-Sanbancho, Towada City, Aomori Prefecture
Opening times: 6 a.m.–10 p.m. (Monday–Sunday)
*The businesses above are open as usual during the exhibition. Please be aware that venues may close due to unforeseen circumstances. Please also refrain from contacting venues about opening hours or the exhibits as it may interfere with their regular operations.
*Exhibits are available with Japanese subtitles and audio only. English translations will be available in October (TBC).
*Visits to Airi no Heya and Cocktail Bar RED DOOR require drink order.
*The exhibit at Michinoku Onsen is located in the lobby. Paying the entrance fee for the baths is not required.
Towada Art Center
The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal 2022
In Cooperation with
Airi no Heya, Cocktail Bar RED DOOR, Michinoku Onsen, Tashima Flower Shop, honkbooks and Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media: RAM Association
Asahi Broadcasting Aomori Co., Ltd., Aomori Broadcasting Corporation, Aomori Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd., The Daily-Tohoku Shimbun Inc., The To-o Nippo Press, and Towada City Board of Education
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