This post will be the last about Nakanojo Biennale.
I’d like to start with Dominique Baron-Bonarjee‘s work. Her work is exhibited in an old Japanese house in Shima, near Sekizenkan. Unfortunately I had to quickly look though the house to catch the bus to go back to the town centre. But overall Dominique’s work left quite a strong impression on me.
I’ve seen her dance performance before so I thought she’d exhibit a video of her performance. But I was completely wrong.
She had quite different pieces this time including fantastical drawing and installation. Her video piece was so strong that I still regret that I didn’t stay long enough to watch the full video. I think all her works are quite dreamy and make me feel she produced them as a part of meditation. The video piece, the part that I saw was particularly dreamy. It almost looked like she was fighting between her conscious self and unconscious self. I wonder that was coming from her inquiry around the self as individual or socially constructed entity as written in her profile text. I wish I could go back there again and spend enough time feeling and thinking about her work.
The next artist’s work is installed at the museum in the town centre. His name is Yoshikuni Kimura. At first I thought his installation was a part of the museum collection, but realised it was actually installed especially for the biennale. It was a really good example of a site-specific work. So he made what it looked like a wooden revolving door. The shape is based on the Jefferson disk, wheel cipher.
Apparently the artists got inspiration from the story that Chouei Takano, the respected scholar from the Edo era. He was imprisoned for criticising the government, but run away from the prison and was hiding in Nakanojo. He was eventually found and killed himself. Apparently some people think it wasn’t him who was found and died, and he managed to hide and lived long using cipher techniques. It’s been said there was a strange door like the Jefferson disk in his hideout. Kimura has created what this door could have looked like. It stimulates audience imagination and provides a stage for a new story.