In today’s COVID-era world, the days of exploring other cultures and places through travel have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. The tourism we crave once permitted our world to understand each other through observation allowing for a deeper understanding of the world around us. While this uncertain time has restricted us in most cases, this period has also called for innovative ways to connect with our world and communicate with other cultures around us.
In an effort to express the many diverse cultures that Japan is home to in this difficult time, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan backed a promotional exhibition comprising Japanese artists and creators who are making their mark on their respective industries named VISION GATE to Japan. These eight artists part of VISION GATE to Japan unified in telling the stories of Japanese culture in the form of digital installations housed across seven of Japan’s major airports and Tokyo’s International Cruise Terminal. “For many citizens from all over the world, Japan is the most different place from home there can be. Everything about it is a welcome departure from familiarity–from the food, for instance, to the sounds of the city,” said Paola Antonelli senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art and curator for the exhibition “VISION GATE” at Haneda and Narita, two major airports in Japan. “People from other cultures perk up in an attempt to understand the connection between, for instance, mingei and Harajuku or Shibuya style, Sakai knives and Tamagotchi, or between the perfect economy of a tea ceremony and the unabashed flamboyance of anime.”
The exhibition grounds itself in the Japanese dualism of past and present and how the country’s rich history of tradition has informed a future of technological advancements. “No imagination of the future can exist without a deep awareness of the past. Japanese culture is more than an aggregation of literature, visual arts, music, or architecture and design–it is vision, a culture of continuous recreation of all these disciplines and of their products,” said Antonelli.
The curation team utilized different areas of each airport placing the art pieces where they would be the most experiential for visitors making their way through the terminal. “sound seemed the best medium for the main space near the gates.” Said Antonelli. “Travelers disembarking from international flights are often in a state of semitrance, tired but excited, unfocused and slowed down but still curious and very receptive. A thoughtful sonic welcome is the perfect landing experience.” There’s an intentional dichotomy to exhibit where the coexistence of concepts between private and public, beauty and ugly, rigor and abandon thrive together creating an awe-inducing journey for visitors.
“We chose to commission eight (six for the videos, two for the installation) very different individuals or groups of Japanese artists, knowing that their work will welcome visitors with a panoply of outlooks on Japan” said Antonelli. In the same way that Japanese culture as a whole is centered around the value of respect, each artist and their exhibitions take inspiration from the people and practices that came before them in an ode to their ancestors. Though our future now is uncertain, VISION GATE to Japan stands as an example of the present where our movements and ability to understand new cultures has been restricted due to the pandemic, yet somehow, our connections are stronger than ever. Until the day when we are able to resume our explorations, VISION GATE and other exhibitions for CULTURE GATE to Japan initiative provides the answer to indulging in the historically rich communities of Japan all from the comfort of our homes.
Check out VISION GATE’s artists and their works here on crfashionbook.com.
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createdAt:Mon, 22 Mar 2021 17:38:34 +0000
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