Toronto Culture - Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens
and The Japan Foundation, Toronto present:
Sharing Our Traditions
November 27, 2007 - January 6, 2008
Edwardian Christmas splendour meets the vibrant cultural traditions of New Year in Japan
This holiday season, make a special trip to the Spadina Museum to see a unique exhibition celebrating Japanese New Year - Oshogatsu.
See a colourful display of Japanese kites and toy tops, and an exciting poster exhibition with beautiful Japanese regional crafts. Make sure to visit the Blue room to peek into a traditional Japanese dining room prepared for the New Year's meal.
Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens
285 Spadina Road, beside Casa Loma
For more information, please call 416-392-6910
Adults $8, Seniors & Youths $7, Children $6
Nihongo Art Contest 2007
November 3 - 16
The Nihongo Art Contest 2007 is receiving an extended run at the Japan Foundation, Toronto, following its popular presentation at the Gendai Gallery.
Every year, hundreds of children learn the Japanese language (Nihongo) in Ontario. There are three different types of characters for writing, each consisting of intricate lines and sensitive strokes, which can be challenging to learn.
Nihongo Art is a unique way for children to express inventive ideas about Japanese words through art. The artwork in this exhibition is made up of illustrations that show both a word's meaning as well as its characters in the same composition. At first glance, a drawing may appear to be ordinary, but upon closer inspection, the viewers will discover the Japanese characters cleverly hidden within.
This year's juried exhibition includes over 200 drawings by children across Ontario from Grades 1 to 12 currently studying the Japanese language.
Co-presented by Nihongo Art Contest Organizing Committee and Gendai Gallery.
The Japan Foundation, Toronto presents
The Satoyama Story: Vivian Reiss in Japan
An artist's reflection of life and art in a tiny rice-farming village in the mountains of Japan
August 8 - October 25, 2007
Living for three months in a rice-farming village in Japan, Toronto painter Vivian Reiss created an extraordinary body of artwork. She painted a series of intensely personal portraits of the inhabitants of the village, which express on a deep level the soul of the individuals and the culture of the village. The work was part of the Echigo Tsumari Triennial, the largest international art exhibition in Japan, visited by 300,000 people. This exhibition showcases her paintings from this period, including portraits; paintings of mountain flowers, snow monkeys & Japanese toys & antiques, which are contextualized with some of the objects themselves. Two stimulating lectures by Reiss and a concert accompany the exhibition.
See Vivian Reiss' work at www.vreiss.com
Lecture & Interview:
Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 PM.
Vivian Reiss and Professor Phillip Silver, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University, will discuss Reiss' experiences in Japan and her current solo exhibition at The Japan Foundation, Toronto.
Artist Tour & Concert:
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2 PM
An in-depth tour of the exhibition by Vivian Reiss, followed by a concert by pianist and composer Joel Garten
Japanese Film Screenings in Hamilton and Toronto
HAMILTON - Saturday, October 6, 2007:
The Movie Palace,526 Concession Street, Hamilton, Ontario
||Twilight Samurai (2002, 129 min.)
||The Glass Rabbit (2005, 86 min.)
TORONTO - Saturday, October 13, 2007:
Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West, Toronto, Ontario
||Twilight Samurai (2002, 129 min)
||Kamikaze Girls (2004, 103 min)
Co-presented with the Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre. Supported by the Consulate General of Japan at Toronto.
||Twilight Samurai is a story about Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai living in the fading days of the Shogun period in Japan. Iguchi's wife has died of tuberculosis, and with two daughters and an elderly mother to support, he and his family must survive in austerity. But when news of his sword-fighting prowess gets out, his superiors order him on a dangerous mission: kill a renowned warrior who is on the wrong side of a clan power struggle. Directed by Yoji Yamada, Twilight Samurai received numerous accolades, including 12 Japan Academy Awards in 2002 and a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film by the Academy Awards in 2004. Rated 14A
||The Glass Rabbit is an animation about 12-year-old Toshiko, who lives with her family in downtown Tokyo during World War II. On the night of March 10, 1945, Toshiko's mother and younger sisters are killed by air-raid bombings. After enduring devastating loss, Toshiko must find the strength and courage to survive amidst the horrors of war. Based on a true story, this touching film, directed by Setsuko Shibuichi, was made to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Rated 14A
Kamikaze Girls is a story about Momoko, a frilly-dressing existentialist who daydreams of living in 18th century Vienna, and Ichigo, a member of the Ponytails, the toughest motocycle gang in town. Together they form an oddball friendship, bonding over the clothes that make them stand out. Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, Kamikaze Girls is a mildly surreal, comic journey into Japan's youth subcultures, based on a graphic novel by manga creator Novala Takemoto. Rated 14A
The Japan Foundation, Toronto participates in
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2007
The Sleepless Night of Encounters
The Satoyama Story: Vivian Reiss in Japan
DVD Screening of The Revenge on Togitatsu
The Sleepless Night of Encounters is a all night event featuring the meeting of two distinct bodies of work: vibrant portrait paintings by artist Vivian Reiss of Satoyama residents, and the magical performance of Kabuki star Kanzaburo XVIII, directed by contemporary theatre genius Hideki Noda. Bravo to the daring artists who struggle through the challenges and transform themselves - sometimes even to their own surprise. Rich, unexpected results blossom on the canvas and the screen at the crossroads of East and West, traditional and modern.
The Satoyama Story: Vivian Reiss in Japan
7:00 PM -1:00 AM
The Revenge on Togitatsu (112 minutes, Japanese with English commentary throughout the film)
Written and directed by Hideki Noda. Featuring Kanzaburo Nakamura XVIII.
1) 8:00 PM - 9:55 PM
2) 10:40 PM - 12:35 PM
3) 12:50 PM - 2:45 AM
4) 3:00 AM - 4:55 AM
5) 5:10 AM - 7:05 AM
Participants are encouraged to either make a short visit (as a kind of "tasting") to this casual setting or to reserve seats for an entire screening. Please note that a limited number of reserved seats is available for each screening.
An Exploration of Japanese Culture through Documentaries
The Japan Foundation, Toronto is pleased to present this year's documentary screening series, entitled BunkaFest, an eight-day extravaganza running the gamut of Japanese cultural documentaries. From the wacky world of Anime fans to the refined and dedicated life of an apprentice Noh actor, this year's festival has something for everyone.
Our feature this year is Animania. This amusing documentary reveals the fascinating world of Japanese anime and teens' obsession with it. From wearing costumes of their favourite characters, to living out their fantasy world at conventions, parents are baffled when their teens dress as cartoon characters and their kids think parents "don't understand them". After the screening, we will be joined by director Felice Gorica, who will lead a discussion on this Japanese pop-culture issue.
Other exciting evenings will feature a look into more traditional aspects of Japanese culture. Each evening several documentaries revolving around a particular theme will be shown; included are such wide-ranging topics as Japanese Cuisine, Japanese Visual Arts, Craftsmasters and Writing.
*Bunka is a Japanese word for "culture".
Japanese Cuisine: Monday July 23, 5:30 pm
Sake Making Expert (10 min.)
The Kaiseki Cuisine of Kyoto (30 min.)
Kyoto's Traditional Sweets (30 min.)
Noh Theatre: Tuesday July 24, 5:30 pm
Noh Drama (20 min.)
650 Years at Centre Stage (49 min.)
Japanese Visual Arts: Wednesday July 25, 5:30 pm
Japanese Ink Painting (30 min.)
Women in Ukiyoe (45 min.)
Feature Screening: Thursday July 26, 7:00 pm
Animania (48 min.)
(Followed by a Q&A with director Felice Gorica)
Traditional Culture: Friday July 27, 5:30 pm
Ikebana (20 min.)
The Spirit of Tea (46 min.)
Craftsmasters: Saturday July 28, 2:00 pm
Tokyo's Traditional Skills (20 min.)
The 1,000 Year Nail (43 min.)
Writing: Monday July 30, 5:30 pm
Calligraphy (20 min.)
Haiku: In Basho's Footsteps (45 min.)
Other Theatrical Traditions: Tuesday July 31, 5:30 pm
Bunraku (20 min.)
Doncho: The Theatrical Curtain Weavers (27 min.)
The Man in Black - The Hidden Face in Kabuki (27 min.)
Lecture: "What Happened Afterwards"
by MAKIKO HARA
Contemporary art curator of Centre A, Vancouver
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Complementing New Japanese Painting in the 1990s Exhibition
on display from May 10 to July 31, 2007 at The Japan Foundation, Toronto
Most of the paintings in the exhibition, New Japanese Painting are from the mid 1990's , and ten years has passed since they were produced. During the last decade, the activities of the artists in the exhibition have been dynamically changed into interdisciplinary art practice, reflecting socio-political transformation as well as the rapid change of globalisation.
In the lecture, Makiko Hara focuses on three artists: Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara and Makoto Aida among the others, all of whom have attained international reputations for their highly original and unique art practices. Starting with the paintings produced in 90's as a point of departure, Hara will examine the transitions in their art practices by showing their key works in the last decade, and discuss how the issues in the early works have been directed and re-examined in their recent practices, and how these transformations reflect the present globalisation and the alteration of art and society
Makiko Hara has been a curator at Centre A, Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art since January 2007. Before being appointed to Centre A, Hara had worked as an independent curator since 1994, based in Japan and later in Montreal, Canada (1997-2002). She was an assistant professor of communication in the Visual Design Department at Sokei College of Fine Arts and Design from 2005 to 2006. Hara has curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions by Japanese, Canadian and international artists. She also worked as the coordinator of several international exhibitions in Japan and Canada including: International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama 2001/2005; The Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2003, including the international group exhibitions; "The Uncanny: Experiments in Cyborg Culture" (Vancouver Art Gallery, 2002); and "Age of Anxiety" (The Power Plant, 1995). She also served as the visual arts advisor for MAI (Montréal Arts Interculturels), a centre for the presentation of visual and performing arts with an intercultural mandate.
Hara is also a founding member of Tokyo Art Speak, a non-profit organisation instituted in 1993 and organising ongoing monthly discussion meetings, symposia, and art projects critically dealing with the issues of globalisation and urbanism in contemporary art. She is the contributor of exhibition catalogues and other publications.
Painting for Joy: New Japanese Painting in the 1990s
May 10 - July 31, 2007
An exhibition presented by The Japan Foundation
30 works in 55 pieces by 9 artists:
ECHIZENYA Yoshitaka, AIDA Makoto , NUKATA Nobuhiko, MARUYAMA Naofumi, KOBAYASHI Takanobu, MURAKAMI Takashi, TARO Chiezo, NARA Yoshitomo, FUKUDA Miran
Painting for Joy: New Japanese Painting in the 1990s is an attempt to show how young Japanese artists have understood and tried to further develop artistic expression contrasting the long tradition of their genre with the nature of the final decade of the twentieth century, a time of rapid developments in information networks and communications technology. What is the role that painting can play amid the tumult of today's rapidly changing world, or even within the world of the arts? This is a question of concern not only in Japan but also throughout the world.
Today, it cannot be denied that painting as a genre of art has tended to grow closed and exclusive out of its very pursuit of autonomy and purity. If the viewer gains no enjoyment from what is seen in a painting and if a painting does not provide a place where some kind of communication is established between the work and the viewer or between the viewer and the artist, some fear that the raison d'etre of painting itself may be at risk.
The artists whose works are included in this exhibition were born in or around the 1960s and were reared in the midst of the advanced consumer society, surrounded by a plethora of semiotics and information. By portraying the realities that actually surround us, they are attempting to open up new horizons in communication between people and painting. We hope that this exhibition will enable viewers to enjoy that sort of communication.
Soundstreams Canada presents:
Cool Drummings International Percussion Festival and Conference
May 22nd to May 27th, 2007
Music lovers in the Toronto area will have unprecedented access to the finest percussion soloists and ensembles from across Canada and around the world in 8 concerts over 6 days.
Performers will include: Nexus (Ontario), Autorickshaw (Ontario), Trichy Sankaran (India/Ontario), Ryan Scott (Ontario), Anne-Julie Caron (Quebec), Beverley Johnston (Ontario), Celso Machado (Brazil/British Columbia), Sal Ferreras (British Columbia), Safa Ensemble (British Columbia), Bill Brennan (Newfoundland), Tambuco (Mexico), Kuniko Kato (Japan), Peter Erskine (USA), Hugh Marsh (Ontario) Liam Teague (Trinidad/ USA) and many others.
Launch Party - Marimba Madness - May 22 at 8 pm
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W.
Three marimba superstars launch Cool Drummings: Anne-Julie Caron (Quebec), Beverley Johnston (Ontario), and Kuniko Kato (Japan), along with 3 Taiko Drummers. These three incredibly talented women will dazzle in music from four continents. Works include Christos Hatzis' Fertility Rites and world premieres by Alice Ho (Ontario) and Oleksa Lozowchuk (Ontario), Peter Hatch (Canada) plus other works by Bach, Astor Piazolla (Argentina), Iannis Xenakis (Greece) and Keiko Abe (Japan). Tickets are $20 adult/ $10 student.
About Soundstreams Canada
Founded in 1982 by Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney, Soundstreams Canada commissions and presents Canadian and international new music; generating opportunities for dynamic encounters among composers, performers and audiences, with associated education and outreach projects.
FREE SCREENINGS AT THE JAPAN FOUNDATION
THE GIFT FROM BEATE (2004, 92 min.)
Directed by Tomoko Fujiwara
English narration and subtitles
Thursdays, March 8 & 22, 2007
This documentary presents an overview of the post-WWII history of Japanese women in their struggle to establish their rights in Japan. The film introduces Beate Siroda Gordon who drafted Article 24 of the Japanese Constitution that set out equality for men and women. The film also introduces prominent activist who fought for reforms.
NITABOH (2004, 100 min.)
Directed by Akio Nishizawa
In Japanese with English subtitles
Thursdays, February 8 & 22, 2007
A rich animation set in 1865 Japan, Nitaboh is the story of a boy who was orphaned at a young age and afflicted by a disease that took his sight. Nonetheless he becomes a prodigious musician and decides to consecrate his life to the shamisen. Based on the true story of the founder of Tsugaru Shamisen.
MASAHIRO MORI CERAMIC DESIGN EXHIBITION
Co-presented by Design Exchange and
The Japan Foundation, Toronto
In association with
Japan Design Committee, Tokyo
|Special thanks to:
Masanori Moroyama, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Hakusan Porcelain Co. Ltd, Hasami, Nagasaki, Japan
Hirotaka Oda, design-mori connexion inc., Shiota, Saga, Japan
MUJI Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd.
EDO Restaurant, Toronto
February 1 - May 5, 2007
Masahiro Mori (1927 - 2005) devoted his entire life to his hometown of Shiota, Saga, Japan and to the neighbouring local ceramic-industry town of Hasami, Nagasaki, where Mori actively designed factory-manufactured ceramics of an international standard.
Here is the artistic statement he emphasized at many public occasions:
"My Design Philosophy.
I experience the most delightful joy of designing
when I conceive of containers for daily use, create forms for them,
and produce them at factories.
Thus, I can share the produces with many people
and can be connected to their lives through the products."
Mori was a reformer who brought a modern sensibility to a traditional industry. He influenced the production and marketing systems of ceramic manufacturing, and even the education of the craftsmen and designers. But most importantly, the products he designed reached a massive number of people, even outside of Japan, and changed their lives through the aesthetic values of objects designed for daily use.
Anyone who dines out with his or her friends in Tokyo today can quite likely run into the G-type Soy Sauce bottle designed by Mori in 1957. This masterpiece is still in production and very popular on the market, enjoying a longevity unusual in the world of design. If you hold it in your hand, the secret of its success convinces you at once. The fusion of simple beauty and straightforward practicality blossoms miraculously in your palm.
This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to experience the essence of Mori's design through a hands-on interactive section. The chance to intimately handle the actual ceramic pieces allows one to embrace the core of his signature designs. Try out the G-type Soy Sauce Bottle, and have some coffee from the Q-type Mug designed by Mori in 1993.
JAPANESE DESIGN TODAY 100
February 8 - April 29, 2007
Design Exchange (DX)
234 Bay Street
The travelling exhibition, Japanese Design Today 100, is a selection of approximately 100 of the finest examples of Japanese design created between the 1990s and the present, focusing on products used in everyday life. These designs give a vivid picture of the hopes and dreams of the people who use the products as well as the designers and corporations who create them. Featured designers include: Isamu Noguchi, Sori Yanagi, Issey Miyake, Masaharu Ohno and Hajime Sorayama.
Presented by the Katari Japanese Storytellers
Saturday, March 24, 2007
As part of the 29th Annual Toronto Festival of Storytelling, Katari Japanese Storytellers present stories on this year’s theme, 007: Stories of Risk, Romance and Adventure, with a Japanese twist. Five talented members will perform original and traditional Japanese folktales, accompanied by music and visuals.
To download an event flyer, click here.
|Presented by UBC Asian Studies & Theatre at UBC
THE UZAWA NOH TROUPE in a Traditional Japanese Noh Theatre Performance of
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Frederic Wood Theatre
Free Workshop: Friday, February 16, 2007 @ 6:00 PM
For more information, visit: www.arts.ubc.ca/index.php?id=433&backPID=4&tt_news=1760
The exclusive Canadian engagement of the 12-member Uzawa Noh Troupe's North American tour of Lady Aoi (Aoi no Ue) features internationally-acclaimed noh performer and teacher Hisa Uzawa-- the first female ever to play the lead role of Lady Rokujo in this classic noh story.
Set in ancient Japan, Lady Aoi is a story based on an episode from the famous epic, The Tale of Genji, in which the spirit of Lady Rokujo, Prince Genji's embittered lover, possesses the body of his pregnant wife Lady Aoi. The invocations of a mountain priest draw out the spirit in the form of a horned demon and the two fight to overpower one another. One of the noh repetory's most exciting plays, Lady Aoi features stunning costumes and a spectacular hannya demon mask. Rooted in 500 years of Japanese tradition, noh is a highly stylised form of theatre that integrates song, dance, poetry and percussion. Elaborate maskes are worn by central characters; words are lengthened within a complex structure of chant. A single moment can last several minutes, while a long period of time can elapse in a second. Some noh plays are so difficult to perform that an actor can only undertake them a his/her peak, once in a lifetime. Performers expend so much energy in conveying intense emotion that it is common for their heart rates to reach 180 beats per minute even while stationary.
Hisa Uzawa is one of the first women to break into the male-dominated world of noh. Born in a family of actors, Uzawa debuted at the age of three and studied under Kanze Hisao, Japan's greatest post-war noh actor. Critical acclaim for Uzawa's work as an actor and teacher has led to greater acceptance of women in noh. Uzawa will make her appearance in Lady Aoi as the passionate jealous spirit of the court woman Lady Rokujo.
"It is impressive that one does not sense the lead actor is female. Uzawa's technique, drama, and interpretation are deserving of high esteem...'women's noh' can no longer be excluded." - Noh Times, Japan (2002)
At the workshop on February 16th, UBC Asian Studies faculty members will present their brief comments on the history and art of noh, followed by a lecture and demonstration by the Uzawa Noh Troupe. Learn about voice and movement techniques and the significance of gestures and dance patternsd in noh theatre. The workshop will also include an introduction to the lavish costumes, wigs, and masks used by noh actors.
Presented by UBC Asian Studies & Theatre at UBC through the generous support of the Toshiba International Foundation, Japan Foundation and Pacific Western.