Nakanojo Biennale 3 中之条ビエンナーレ3

Some of closed school buildings are used to exhibit works at Nakanojo Biennale. Most of them are built with wood so they create a nostalgic atmosphere. It’s just nice to walk around the old wooden buildings.

One of the school is now called Isama Studio. The school building was used to shoot a Japanese film called Sleeping Man about 20 years ago and the Isama Studio Film Festival has been held every autumn since 2001.

I’d like to introduce two artists whose works are exhibited in this building today. One is Kyoko Fujiwara. For this biennale, she has exhibited her installation made with cracked clear glass plates in a music room as shown in the image. Apparently she saw a music score written on the board in the room and responded to that using glass. Beautifully crafted glass structure looks like it’s about to play some sound, which could be classic piano sound or quirky experimental music depending on audience’s imagination. Silent scales can be played in different ways. This work reminded me of John Cage’s silent piece.

The second artist is Shunsuke Watanabe. He chose the PE room of the school where Jaime Humphreys’ amazing drawing was exhibited in the previous biennale. (Read about Humpheys’ this year’s work here). So I was very curious how this artist would use the same space.

As I approached the PE room, I heard quite loud organ like sound. Yes, there were over 5 organs, which were playing continuously. The sound wasn’t harmonic, but wasn’t uncomfortable. Actually the sound made me feel nostalgic somehow. It was intriguing that a music score of Furusato (old home, hometown), the famous children’s song, was placed on a music stand. I wonder if the organ sound is the artist’s own interpretation of the song or how he feels about his home town. In the backdrop, there’s a huge painting of a mountain, which seems to have to stay there as it was there as it was during the previous biennale. I felt that the mountain painting, the music score and the organs worked well together to create a powerful and unique presence in the massive PE room.










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