Kameyama Triennale – Kato-ke

Overall the quality of the Kameyama Triennale was high and I felt it was worth spending time and money visiting the art festival.

As I have written in the previous post, Kameyama has many historical buildings and two listed buildings have been used to exhibit works. I’d like to start with Kato-ke.

Kato-ke hosts 14 artists’ works. As you enter the gate, Shinya Yamaji’s striking installation welcomes you. As soon as I saw it, I really liked it.  It’s like a fan with layers of white stripes. The materials look like plastics but have very soft impression. I felt the whole structure would start swaying in the wind. When the artist told me about the concept behind the work, I became to like it more. Apparently he’s got inspiration from Nusa, the paper ornament used in Shintoism rituals for purification. As priests swing Nusa, the attached papers flow. That’s reflected in the installation. Purification is important in Japanese houses. Before building something, traditionally Shintoism priest is invited and asked to purify the ground, worship the god and pray for safety of the construction. This simple yet powerful installation is placed near the entrance as if it purifies the house.

When you enter the house, you’ll find Norton‘s artwork first. He’s from NY and deals with plexiglass. This time he’s curved some characters of a story he learned during his childhood in Japan.  During the melting process, each plexiglass sheet has formed an interesting shape and the delicate lines on the sheet show his great skills. I also liked how the works are exhibited on wooden stands like displayed masks. They made me want to see his usual works too, which are drawing and curving on layers of massive plexiglass to play with shadow.

Next to Norton’s, Cake Hara‘s samurai armour entitled 愛阿武不逢筋王修 is installed. His piece is very playful although I saw some kids were scared. The samurai armour is made with daily goods and his sense of humour is well presented in the title on the flag. If you can read kanji, guess how it’s read and what it means.

In the back garden, there’s Hector Falcon‘s rock garden. Kato-ke has a beautiful Japanese style garden and it’s just relaxing to sit down on the porch and enjoy the tranquil garden. Falcon’s rocks with an accent of metallic pink have added bold and modern elements to the traditional garden. With the rocks, the garden looks like a dynamic paining, but at the same time has kept some tranquil atmosphere.



母屋の中には、まず ノートンの作品があります。ニューヨーク出身でアクリル樹脂を主に扱うアーティストだそうです。今回は、日本で育った幼少時に知ったお話の登場人物たちをアクリル樹脂に彫りました。それぞれのアクリル樹脂のシートは、溶ける過程で面白い形になります。そこに彫られた繊細な線は、彼の素晴らしい技術の証拠です。私は、作品がまるでお面のように木の台の上に展示されている様子も気に入りました。普段は、何層もの巨大なアクリル樹脂に絵を描いたり掘ったりして影で遊ぶそう。そちらも見たくなりました。

ノートンの隣には、Cake Haraの《愛阿武不逢筋王修》と題する作品、甲冑が展示されています。この作品を見て怖がっている子供たちもいましたが、とても遊び心があります。日常用品で作られた甲冑。旗にも作品のタイトルが書いてありますが、アーティスト自身のユーモアのセンスが光っていました。この漢字を何と読むか、そして何を意味しているか推測してみてください。



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