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Issue 6 Asian Artists create artworks in Fukuoka Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Artists in Residence

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Features Asian Artists create artworks in Fukuoka Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Artists in Residence  The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum displays high-quality contemporary arts with compelling messages created by Asian artists truly living in the moment in fast-moving society in Asia.  The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum that specializes in modern and contemporary arts is one without any parallel in the world.  The museum is designed to the interactive museum that allows its visitors in Fukuoka Japan and Asian countries to engage in the arts by helping people to understand the world around them through interactive images and works of art.  The Residence Project has continued since the museum was opened in 1999(Heisei 11).   The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum has invited artists, researchers, and curators for a certain period of time to hold various exchange programs.  Take a look at some works created by artists who stayed in Fukuoka as the Residence Program.  Anindita Dutta (India) Duration of stay in Fukuoka  Jun.8th~Aug.16th 2010  ung Myat Htay (Myanmar) Duration of stay in Fukuoka  Sep.7th~Nov.15th 2010  Jimin Kim  (Korea) Duration of stay in Fukuoka Sep.7th~Nov.15th 2010

「Mature artwork.」Anindita Dutta  Anindita Dutta from India stayed in Fukuoka for 3 months from June of 2010(Heisei 22) till September since she was invited as the Residence Project.  She interacted with a wide variety of people through workshops and other programs.  She created  large-scale performances with students at Kyushu Sangyo University, using pottery clay.  Her performances were recorded, and also there are pictures.  She made Indian crowns and kites with children in elementary and middle school.    ■Artist:  Anindita Dutta She was born in 1973 in Purnia.  After she studying sculpture at Visva Bharati University(Tagore University), she went abroad to study at Purdue University and the University of Iowa where she continued her studies in sculpture and ceramics.  She stayed in Fukuoka from Jun.10th to Aug.16th as an artist for the Residence Program, while in Fukuoka, she interacted with a wide variety of people through the collaboration with locals and workshops.  Workshop Let's make an Indian crown She visited the Minami Special-Needs School to have a workshop.   After they learned about the life and culture in India, children made crowns, looking at the images of the God of Krishna.   The children decorated their favorite parts on satin fabric that the Royal family in India usually put on, finishing their colorful crowns.  After they put peacock's feather as a symbol of King, they completed making their crowns.  They wore their crowns as if they were King or Princess in India.  Jun. 26th(Mon) 10:00~11:30 17 students from Minami Fukuoka Special Needs Juniior High School took part in the workshop.  Let's make Indian Kites She had the workshop with elementary school kids who visited the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.  The kids tried to make kites after they listened to the life and culture in India from Anindita Dutta.   The kites are still often flown in farming villages.  First, the kids cut the shape of kites out of their favorite thin paper by using a kite pattern. Second, they cut geometrical patterns or their favorite shapes out of the paper to put them on the kites.   It seemed difficult for kids to bend Take Higo(thin strips of bamboo, like bamboo strings).  They also had difficulty putting Take Higo or sewing threads on the Kites.  They made them with the help of volunteer staff.  Jul.13th(Tue) 11:00~13:00 Fukuoka city Taguma Elementary School  21 students(the Fifth grade) joined the workshop Jul.24th(Sat) 12:50~15:40 An Art Bus Tour for Kids on Summer Holiday (held by Fureai Bunka Center in Kasuga City) 26 elementary students from the fourth through the sixth grades took part in the tour.

 Performance and Artwork Performance with clay  Two performances were showcased on the stage that was daubed with pottery clay at the campus of Kyushu Sangyo University.  The students who majored in the Art Department helped with the performances.  The students daubed their bodies with clay.  They then  moved and walked around the set, while creating the world of Anindita Dutta under her directions.  Ms. Dutta has created performances using clay for a couple of years. 「From the very beginning, I produced artworks using various materials as sculptor.  Among the materials, I'm interested in natural materials such as hemp.  Since I've been interested in clay made of soil, I started doing performance smearing clay on parts of the body six years ago.  When I took part in the Residence Program in France, I created the performance in which everything was covered by clay.  Since then, I've used clay for my performances」.   She used mud from the river near her studio.   She said that she carried the bucket filled with mud several times from the river to her studio as she didn't have any acquaintance to help her.   She said, 「I WAS young at the time.」(laughs)  「My performances transform the body that was smeared with mud into a substance.   The body covered by mud seems an object.  Living tissue was transformed into another thing, changing it into a solid figure」 She explained the reasons why she used clay.  Ms.Dutta wants to shed the light on the inner side of human being.  Everybody feels happy and also has faced internal struggles like loneliness.  I replace those emotional feelings with artworks.  Those feelings are not what I felt at the times.   I tried to experience another person's pleasure or pain vicariously and I portrayed the feelings in my artworks.  Although this process makes me feel pain and distressed, sometimes the process makes me happy when I portray the happiness.   I have to face ambivalent feeling between the bright and the dark sides of feelings.

 Portray mental feeling of each person She performed two situations in this time.  One situation was that there was a man and woman sitting at a table facing each other.  The other was that there were a man and woman coming and going behind a panel, which was shaped like a labyrinth.  Then she produced the artworks with pictures or animated pictures.  「I wanted to describe what I thought about life and death through my artworks.   I believe that there is a fine line between life and death.  The reality is that I don't know where people come from and where people head for.   People are not willing to think about life and death.  But I dare to send the message in my performances that even we human-being don't care about life-and-death issue, we can live as usual.」  She created her artworks by smearing mud on her body.  This was the first performance for her to smear mud on others.  「When I performed the artwork using my body, my performance became my story or my emotional feeling.  I don't want people to see my performance from one-sided views.  So my performances that involved people might have various perspective.  So many men, so many opinions.  I will pursue doing performances with several points of view from now on.」  Anindita Dutta seemed to find a new direction in Fukuoka.  「I was really surprised that the students who were hands-on in my performance had the same feeling with me as when I produced the artworks using clay.  Each single movement was what I had in my mind.  Making the artworks with the students who were willing to help me contributed a sense of fulfillment.」

 QA Artist    Anindita Dutta ―Is this the first time you come to Fukuoka?  Yes, this is the first time to come to Japan.  Unfortunately, I couldn't go to any place except Fukuoka.  But I became to understand what Japan was like.  I heard that Tokyo was similar to New York.  I think it is the same for every large city.  I understand an ambience of Japan even though I only stayed in Fukuoka.   Fukuoka are very warm and kind.  I am so lucky to come to Fukuoka.  ―How about your creative activity in Japan?  Well, it was very good environment surrounding me.  Japanese treat other people with respect.  They are really kind and always think about other people even at the cost of their feelings.  I didn't feel lonely.  It was really nice to create the artwork as people surrounding me helped so much.  I believe that I created mature works as well as great works in Fukuoka.  There was a person named Sir Rabindranath Tagore who found the university I graduated from.  He really loved Japan and often said that 「Learn things from Japan.」  Japanese have an aesthetic value and cherish beauty sense.  They've done everything precisely.  They are very nice as human-beings.   Now I really understand what he said.

 ―You mean that you are interested in Japan through Sir Tagore.  Exactly.  Finally I came to Japan.   I'm really happy to be here.  Sir Tagore visited Japan several times.  So I've been thinking about the reasons why he loved Japan so much or what made Japan attractive.  I gradually began to understand the important thing was when you wanted to get something.  I learned that an attitude would be important when achieving a goal.  Taking on work precisely is required to accomplish the goal.  As I read books about Japan or listened to the stories about Japan, I imagined what Japan was like.  But when I came to Japan, I had a different impression than I had before.    I want to visit Japan in the near future.  Since my artworks were time-consuming, I had little time to meet people.  I do want to meet many people next time.  ―What was your impression of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum  What makes the museum outstanding from other museums is that the museum allows local communities to engage in various processes.   The museum offers educational opportunities to the locals such as workshops for children.  It is an ideal educational style for the education of arts to invite the locals to the local museum in itself.   This is something not seen in India.  There is nutrition called mental nutrition and physical nutrition.  Access to arts and the fine arts or reading books grows mental ability.  Without educational nutrition, it is difficult to grow mental ability.  It is not physical food but mental food or intellectual food for proper education that enhances the intellectual ability. The library is also good.  It has a good collection.  When it comes to India, there is copious data that makes me feel as if I were in India.   There are lots of books covering a wide variety of authors, arts, and illustrated books from Asian countries, ranging from small books to big ones. I think I was spoiled by people surrounding me in Fukuoka.  I was really lucky to be with good staff and nice books.  If I wanted to see something I could.  I got everything I wanted.  I don't think I'll visit Japan again except Fukuoka.  I want to be invited to Fukuoka again. Sir Rabindranath Tagore(1861-1941)was a poet and thinker in India.  Sir Tagore is respected as great poet.  Sir Tagore is the songwriter as well as the composer of the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.  Sir. Tagore is the founder of the Tagore University.  As Sir Tagore thought Japanese highly valued aesthetic values, he visited Japan 5 times.

 「Creating the sense of Lights」Aung Myat Htay  The Residential Programs in the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum are designed to invite promising artists from Asian countries to work for cultural exchange with locals through interactive images and works of art.  The museum is called AJibi. This time I'd like to introduce Aung Myat Htay from Myanmar and Kim Jimin from Korea.  They stayed for 70 days in Fukuoka from September until November of 2010, holding a workshop for children and explaining their works of art.  They created a wide variety of works focusing on Fukuoka.  ■ Artist : Aung Myat Htay Born in 1973.  Living in Yangon, Myanmar.  Graduated in Sculpture from University of Art and Culture, Yangon in 1998.   Mr. Htay stayed in Fukuoka as a FAAM residence artist from Sep.,7th until Nov.,15th  Hakata Lantern Watching  Hakata Riverain Lantern Festival Produced by Aung Myat Htay  「Hakata Lantern Watching」 is a fantastic event covering Hakata with lanterns.  The event became popular as an autumn feature.   Mr. Aung was assigned for the design of Hakata Riverain Lantern, one of the event places.  In early afternoon, volunteers and the locals started preparing for the event at night.  They put soil and a candle in a paper bag to make lanterns.  After making about 3000 lanterns, they put lanterns on the whole area of the Hakata Riverain along the river.  Many people took part in the preparation; ages ranging from elementary and middle school students and their parents, to the elderly.  About 3000 lanterns were lit up at 6 o'clock.  When the drawings of a peacock and a flying big bird were raised in the silent darkness, the locals raised the roof,  They shouted, 「 What a beautiful scene !」and 「Amazing.」  Revolving lanterns created by elementary school kids in Fukuoka and paper cutouts produced by Mr.Aung were projected, the visitors were intoxicated with subtle and profound beauty that was totally different from the usual.  Although the candlelit lasts only 3 hours, I believe that taking part in the event as volunteers or as staff with the artists to liven up the event is meaningful.  「There is an event using lanterns in October in Myanmar.  It is an honor to have engaged in the event in Hakata.  I really appreciated kindness the locals offered」, stated Mr. Aung.  He seemed happy.

 【Workshop and Performance】Through Artworks Let's think about dreams and peace Open studio was held on Nov. 3rd (holiday), which introduced artists staying in Ajibi to the locals.  Mr. Aung had a workshop 「Story」.  This was an open studio where anyone could visit.  There were 26 students who belonged to the art club at Koga Junior High School who took part in the workshop.  They tried to make the artworks by cutting out a human figure from a large paper.  Then  the artworks would be illuminated with lights.  The theme was 「dreams.」  After divided into 4 groups, the students decided their designs.  At first, the students took their time, chatting with each other.  They gradually focused on their works after cutting out the paper with cutter knife and putting cellophane tapes on their artworks.  With their completed artworks illuminated with lights, their artworks changed into the beautiful arts.  The students were really satisfied with their arts.    「May the world be peaceful.」「I want to go to the Disneyland.」  Each group of students presented their dreams and desires.  There was the group that designed the flags of all nations including Japan and Myanmar. 「The artworks that fill with your dreams and hopes make me excited,」  says Aung.   At noon, Mr. Aung left Ajibi to perform 「Home Sick and Sick Home」 on a lawn at Reizen park.  A vibrant performance dedicated completely by Mr.Aung impressed the students who were watching it.  It was the day for the students to feel closer to the country Myanmar and modern arts.

 【Works of art】Installation that make us feel lights  「The selection result of the invitees for the Residence Program」 is designed to display activities of artists who stayed in Fukuoka as FAAM residence artist.  Mr. Aung created two installations at 「The selection result of the invitees for Residence Program.」  Installation is an art using objects, images, and sounds to feel the entire space. With the lights in the artworks shimmering in the event place in a dim light, the place was engulfed in a mysterious mood.  「Story 1- Lantern」:  The designs based on the birth of Buddha were illustrated on revolving lanterns that were familia with Japanese.  The images on the lanterns were projected on the three sides of wall as if I were taking a tour of  the life of Buddha. 「Story 2- life of Buddha」: The various images emerged from the silhouettes of 20 human figures.  Based on traditional designs, Mr. Aung tried new style of expression with lights and sounds. 「My installation is based on creating lights like light and shadow and a beam of hope.  I'm really happy if my artworks give audience imagination of various stories.」 says Mr. Aung  Q-What's your impression about the exchange program? I felt as if I were walking on the clouds in Fukuoka.  The locals with great smiles, plants such as flowers and trees, displays in the museum, and handicrafts made me feel that Japan was one of Asian countries like Myanmar.  There are various countries in Asia and I consider Asian countries as a big family.  We need to know each other to become an Asian family.

 「Brand tags turn into Arts」Kim Jimin ■ Artist : Kim Jimin Born in 1975.  Living in Seoul, Korea.  He graduated in Sculpture from Seoul National University in 2005 and Wimbledon College of Art, UK. in 2007.  Mr. Kim stayed in Fukuoka as FAAM residence artist from Sep. 7th until Nov.15th.    Works of art The Fan- the memory of shrine Collaboration with the shrine Ajibi chose the Miyajidake shrine in Fukutsu City for「a factory」 to meet Mr. Kim's request who wanted to create his art at a traditional building in Japan.  He stuck several thousands of clothing labels from fashiion brands on a two-story gate and peeled them off one by one, while recording the process with a digital camera.   After editing the images, he created an animation sequence showing colorful patterns appearing and disappearing at the shrine.  Marvelous polka-dots of varying sizes suddenly emerged in the shrine made visitors curious.  They asked「 Is there anything that related to a charm?」 「Sticking new tags on something traditional means not getting rid of old things but the creation of  new ones that cover old ones.  The image is a digital but it is an analog art made by human.

 「The Fan 3.6」Mysterious art at the Kawabata shopping street The art 「The Fan 3.6」 by Mr. Kim was displayed from Nov. 3rd until Nov. 30th at the Kawabata shopping street that located in front of Ajibi.   Suddenly a giant round object that seemed to swallow everything appeared, the locals walking through the arcade looked up at the object with a curious look.  Have you seen it?  The huge art that was 3.6m in diameter was created from thousands of clothing tags.  It was a volunteer staff from Ajibi who patiently sewed those tags together.  They pieced small tags in about 5 cm by sewing one by one, while communicating with him in broken English and Japanese or by gestures. 「The intricate work killed my lower back and eyes. (laughs)   I was very happy to share a sense of fulfillment with Mr. Kim when the art was completed.」says one of volunteers.  Mr. Kim says, 「My works created by clothing tags were characterized by capitalist society.  Fan has two meanings.  One is a fan blade that is characterized by whirl of modern life.  The other is a fan who is crazy about idols.  It is characterized by consumer spending spree in society.  The Kawabata shopping street is a place for consumption.  So the street fits my theme of the art.」 Which perspective did Mr. Kim's work 「Fan」 bring to the Kawabata shopping street?

 【Workshop】Under the sea portrayed by seals Ajibi is designed as an interactive museum that allows the locals to engage in Asia and the arts through various programs including an experience program for elementary schools.  Mr. Kim had workshops at the four elementary schools during his visit.After listening to Mr. Kim's lecture about his artworks, the children made artworks using the same method of Mr. Kim, using seals that were copied clothing tags of various brands.  The theme was 「World under the sea.」The students were divided into several groups and talked about ocean life.  With the different color of seals were combined, they created the shapes of whales and octopuses.  After they finished their works, each group made a presentation while watching others.   Q-What's your impression about the exchange program? Thanks to the staff and the volunteer members of Ajibi, it was possible for me to devote myself to my work for 70days.   In the same series of【Fan,】 unlike in England and New Zealand, there was room for me to freely image what I wanted to create; relaxing rather than tightening.  I also spent a lot of time with the women volunteers, sewing the tags together.  In fact, I spent so much time sewing that I thought I had become one of the woman volunteers!  Thank you.

 Special Column Asian countries from Kyushu Deeply Indulge in Asian culture~ Fukuoka hit the ground running at breakneck speed Fukuoka City Cultural Promotion Section chief FIFF Secretariat  Kohei Yamamoto   I haven't had the slightest idea about Asia Why am I writing this column bossily in the first place?  I'm nothing but a local public servant.  The fact is that there is a potential to build the bridge between Fukuoka, Kyushu and Asian countries.  Please be patient a little bit to read my private story.  When I started to work for Fukuoka City Hall, I determined to work for a white-collar work like bureaucratic process.  Things have changed after I moved to the departments several times.   I was the person in charge for setting up the Asian Art Museum.  That began my story.  Although Asian countries as well as the arts were alien to me, I've never expected to examine arts and artists in foreign countries out of the blue.  I'd never thought about this situation at the City Hall because I knew practically nothing about English, so my new job left me baffled and bewildered.  I'm committed to the work that is far from the job at the City Hall, taking care of artist and researchers from Asian countries and planning a new program.  I'd like to introduce what I had engaged in to you.  「The Fukuoka Asia Art Museum,」 「Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale,」 「Fukuoka Asian Month,」「Asian-Pacific Festival Fukuoka,」 「The Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Center,」 「Asian Pacific City Summit,」 and 「Asia Focus Fukuoka International Film Festival.」  It's no wonder people think Fukuoka City Hall would be crazy after they knew that those events were held under the auspices of the city government.  I couldn't agree more.  And additionally, what made people surprised was that we'd never held an one-off event.    The events were held by the organizations or projects composed mainly of the city government, and most of the events have been commemorated the 20th anniversary and still continue.  This is happening not because I'm Asian freak or addicted foreign culture.  It is because the government has continued to throw money at so many institutions or projects associated with Asian regardless of the cost.  Aside from these projects, Asian-related projects that the government has engaged in are huge and enormous.  Given that those international business become a burden in times such as these, it is hard for the local governments to continue the money-consuming projects.  A local official like me who got involved in floods of Asian projects is sticking my nose into the Asian projects, pretending to know everything about Asia.  There are a lot of HR who is familiar with Asia, but also there is HR who doesn't play an important role like me.

 Honeymoon period between Fukuoka Kyushu and Asia  Why does this happen?  What makes it possible to push through these projects?  The Asian project has nothing to do with quick-and dirty work like China where it makes great strides in its economy.   Fukuoka came through the local expo, 「 Asian-Pacific Exposition 「Yokatopia」」 with flying colors in 1989.  Although the success of the expo set the stage for Asian-related projects, the Asian Art exhibition was held 1979.  It is said that a recent Asian-oriented tendency in Fukuoka started when Sun Yat -sen, a revolutionist, made an address on Greater Asianism (Da Yaxiyazhuyi) in Japan in 1924.  「We advocate Pan-Asianism in order to restore the status of Asia.  Only by the unification of all the people in Asia on the foundation of benevolence and virtue can they become strong and powerful.  The problem is how to terminate the sufferings of the Asiatic peoples and how to resist the aggression of the powerful European countries.   We advocate the avenging of the wrong done to those in revolt against the civilization of the rule of Might, with the aim of seeking a civilization of peace and equality and the emancipation of all races. Japan to-day has become acquainted with the Western civilization of the rule of Might, but retains the characteristics of the Oriental civilization for the rule of Right.  Now the question remains whether Japan will be the hawk of the Western civilization of the rule of Might, or the tower of strength of the Orient.  This is the choice which lies before the people of Japan.  (extracts [selections] from the Sun Yat-sen speech on Pan-Asianism 1966.It is no wonder that you consider this speech as a biased view that leads to wage a war.   (We can't embrace wars that the great-powers wage in the name of justice.)  The fact is that what Sun Yat-sen had in his mind was to dissuade 「Japanese Asianist」 from heading for expansion principle for the national interest.It was Mitsuru Toyama who was intimately-connected with Sun Yat-sen.  Just before his speech, Toyama met with Sun Yat-sen.  Toyama was branded as a pioneering nationalist, while carrying a lot of weight in the Japanese government.  It is said that Toyama was strongly impressed by「Greater Asianism.」 No one knows whether he intended to wage the Greater East Asia War or headed for a pieceful movement.  The group which he had belonged in had its source in setting up a local newspaper, producing many politicians including the mayor of Fukuoka.  It is well known that the group had a lasting impact on political and business circles in Japan.   Asianism in Fukuoka that had cultivated in the past is considered as the extraction of cultural and peaceful factors from the idea of Sun Yat-sen.  It means that Asianism in Fukuoka was derived from Sun Yat-sen.  If you trace the relationship between Kyushu and Asia, you can reach the Heian period (before the Nara period) when guests from Asian countries were entertained at the guesthouse the so called Korokan.  As history illustrates that the geographic closeness to the Asian countries has been advantageous to Japan to promote exchanges from the earliest times, on the other hand, it is an easy target by Asian countries like 「Genko」(the Mongo Invasions of 1274 and 1281).  That's why Fukuoka has long history of exchanges with Asian countries more than any other cities.  What people of the past had done to Asian countries might be passed down to the locals or the land like DNA.  Aside from Fukuoka, there are a lot of projects in Kyushu using the term 「Asia」 like the Kagoshima Asian Youth ArtsFestival.  Compared to other cities or regions, the ratio of establishing a sister city relationship with Asian countries is higher.

 Eye-catching! Focus on Asia Fukuoka International Film Festival Giant refrigerator for the movie films  Among Asian-related projects I mentioned before, some are ranked number one in the world or some are the world's first projects which make us very proud of.  Although I'd like to introduce Asian-related projects to you, due to space limitations, I do want to introduce you  Focus on Asia: Fukuoka International Film Festival,「which we commemorated the 20 year anniversary this year.   There are many big International film Festivals in Tokyo or Pusan which are larger in scale than Fukuoka.  But the other festivals are unlikely to treat presented films with special care like fine arts or treat the films with much better conditions.  Focus on Asia works together with the Fukuoka Public Library on film collections, preservation, and a public release.  A film that will be released at the festival is basically 「a new print」(a brand spanking new film that is made by copying the master film directly) with Japanese and English subtitles.  The films are kept  permanently in a special storage room with a controlled temperature of 5 degrees.  The storage room can accommodate 20,000 films, keeping several hundred rare movies representative of Asia.  Among other things, here is the only place around the world where original prints are preserved.   So many movie directors in Asia appreciate that and want Focus on Asia to keep their films at the room.  Films that had been kept privately by Ken Takakura (a famous Japanese actor) were deposited in the archive, celluloid pictures of Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Jiburi) were also being kept in the room.   The films are extremely fragile, and they deteriorate and damage easily at normal temperature.  The film archive that experts meticulously care for plays a significant role in terms of preservation of international cultural assets.   It is the great place for Asian countries where social situations and economic conditions are uneasy and climate conditions are harsh  So the film archive is the best institution for those countries to keep the films intact.   The FIFF is a member of International Film Archives Confederation followed by the National Museum of Modern Art, Film Center in Tokyo.  We might call the FIFF National Diet Library for the films.  Especially the number of amassed Asian films is the largest in Japan.  This is the fact that it is not the job for one of the local governments.

 Marketing eyes of local governments  Sounds like arrogant boasts.  But the fact is that we face a challenge even as the FIFF celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  Nowadays with the rapid globalization, international competitions are nothing special, while Japanese businesses are forced to face a serious challenge.   The trend also affects local governments.  When Japan enjoyed economic boom, the FIFF just offered locals a film festival which was designed to introduce well-made Asian movies as there were few competitions.  Recently, for example, as a burgeoning movie festival like the Pusan International Film Festival hold greater sway in the movie industry, the FIFF pales in comparison when compared to the movie festival in Pusan.  No wonder because the Korean government sponsored the festival as national policy, spending ten times more than that of the FIFF.  Furthermore, more than 60 films are released for the first time at the festival in Pusan.  The Korean government has promoted all-round preparation for the movie industry in order to make it a leading business, encouraging educational institutions, movie theaters, shooting equipment, and studios.   The movie festival in Pusan is a core business, playing an important role for dealing a business in the movie market.  As a result it become the largest and the best-known festival.  The Movie Festivals also seem like a war by proxy between Japanese businesses and Samsung.  Filmmakers have an eye on a bigger market to show many people their films.  As a result, it makes sense that the filmmakers want to release commercially-made movies or the movie in the news in a large-scale festival.  I mean we will face a difficulty to attract movies to the FIFF.  That's why we shouldn't aim to the same goal with other festivals because the winner is clear.  As FIFF hasn't found a clear idea to solve this problem, working in closer cooperation with the public library is very advantageous.  Pursuing well-made movies that the commercially-made movie is not likely to make is a nonnegotiable policy for the FIFF to preserve the films permanently.   A task of the FIFF is to discover a well-made movie in countries where they don't have a strong movie industry, and the large-scale festivals are unlikely to cover a movie in those countries.   It is director Yasuhiro Hariki who is in charge of sellecting movies as well as planning a project.  FIFF is the only place to see selected movies by Hariki who visits film festivals around the world, showing very well-made movies.  More than twenty- thousand locals join the festival.  I assume that exposing Asian culture to the locals such as arts, the culture prize, performances, and music become best in Japan to understand Asia.    In the future, as local governments will face a screening process on all sorts of projects, exposing stiff competitions both domestic and international such as intercity contest, it is even difficult to survive the projects unless the local authorities will set up the projects and promote them in terms of marketing.   Asian Focus this year: Well-made but unknown film in the FIFF I'd like to introduce a movie from Azerbaijan which is all but impossible to see in Japan except at the FIFF.  As the movie makes its first appearance at the FIFF, I visited the Azerbaijan Embassy in Japan to request cooperation.   I was welcomed in a very friendly way.  Just to translate and subtitle the movie in Japanese was very tough work as there are few people to translate Azerbaijanian.  Therefore, the embassy became a very precious resources.  Furthermore, a movie researcher at the Azerbaijan Art University who had offered the FIFF to visit Fukuoka to deliver a lecture at his own expense came to Fukuoka.  It was a rare  opportunity for them to show their movies in a foreign country.  FIFF is a few common ground between Japan and Azerbaijan.   「Fortress/Qala」 starts when film crew comes to the village.   Love stories between young men and women are going on at an imitational fortress that was built as a set as if it was a play within a play, which appears peaceful but which finds itself in the center of conflict among ethnic groups.  A reality and fantasy becomes complicated in a very beautiful nature.  A dramatic epic was released for the first time in Japan.

Fua's trip to Asia Take a trip to a nearby island! Nokonoshima Island, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka  I went to a resort island, Nokonoshima Island, floating in the Hakata Bay by boarding a ship.  After the ship left the port, the Fukuoka Yahoo Dome and the Fukuoka Tower became smaller with increasing distance.  The view from the ship touches the heart of a traveler.  When I arrived at the island, I saw a cat watching for a chance to steal fish.  Meeting with some females who were standing chatting made me relaxed.  I really felt the take-it-easy mood.   A only ten-minute-ride took me to the different world.   I want to come here again and again.    1.Nokono Ichi   There is a souvenir shop next to the Noko Ferry, accompanied by a tour desk.  You can get a map of the island and information for a tour.  Special products of Noko such as Noko Udon (noodles), Oranges, fresh fish, and dried fish are sold.  A well-known hamburger shop 「Noko Burger」is there.  I've been curious about the local soda pop called the Noko Soda.(210 yen).  The picture of ferry bound for Noko Island was drawn on the label of the soda.   The picture is so nostalgic that I think it is suitable for a souvenir.    2.Shirahige Shrine  When hanging around, I found a very unique name of a shrine.  A white bearded god might be enshrined.  There are more than 300 shrines called Shirahige Jinjya.  Because of the name, Shirahige Jinjya enshrines the god of long life and prevention of accidents.   Shirahige Jinjya is the oldest shrine on the island and is well known for Okunchi Festival that is held every year in October.  It is said that the shrine is inscribed on intangible cultural asset.  No wonder you hope your prayers get answered.   I prayed to God seriously. You want to know what I prayed?  Secret !

  3.An observation deck on Noko Island  This is the highest place (a 195-meter mountain) that gives you beautiful scenery.  A ten- minute- walk from the bus stop「Tenbodai Iriguchi,」 takes you to the observation deck.  I managed to climb up to the mountain, panting.  Suddenly a 360-degree panoramic view surrounded by the sea came into sight.   I forgot my fatigue.  When I looked at on the opposite side, there were high-rise buildings in Fukuoka like Manhattan.  When I turned the other side, I look at Shikanoshima Island and Genkaijima Island.   The view made me feel as if I were a bird flying the skies.     4.Shisaku no Mori (forests for meditation)  Walking through an orange fields from the observation deck, you can reach a forests called,「Shisaku no Mori.」  Shall I think about life?  Taking a stroll along the walking trail slowly, you can find two big objects,「Izanagi Ishi to Izanami Ishi.」  According to a explanation, 「 Onokoro ( imaginary island) was made at first time by the god in Kojiki and Nokonoshima Island was there.」  I couldn't deny the story since the island was wrapped in an aura of divinity.  I found a power spot.    5.Noko Island Park  When it comes to Nokonoshima Island, the Island park always comes first as the island for a wide variety of flowers in each season.  We enjoy a field of rape blossoms in spring, cosmoses in autumn, and daffodils in winter.  Many flowers in the field with the beautiful blue sea in the background are great.  After having a lunch, you can take a nap or whatever you like.  A ten minute ride by bus or a 45 minute walk from the Noko Ferry.  Admission fee:  Adults 1,000 yen.  Elementary and junior high school students 500 yen.  Small children up to age three 300 yen. (Dec-Feb : Adults  500 yen. Elementary and junior high school students : 300 yen, Small children up to age three : 100 yen)

A Leisurely Trip through time  Fukuoka which holds history dating back 2000 years has served as a gateway for exchange between Asia and Japan since ancient times.   We sometimes run into places where there still remain old memories.  This column introduces you to those spots.  If you come across such a place, take a trip back in time.     Chapter eight Donpekiro the Medieval Ages: an imposing building near the seashore at Hakata    In the middle Ages, Donpekiro was built at Myorakuji in Okinohama (a part of Fukuoka) as a magnificent three story building well-known in both the far off countries of China and Korea.  Okinohama is now known as Komondo-machi, an area of Fukuoka. Myorakuji was built in 1316 (Showa 5).  Preparing a retreat for Soki Getsudo (a Zen priest) was the origin of Myorakuji.  In 1346, (Teiwa 2) Shichido Garan (a traditional Buddhist temple complex.  Included in the complex are seven Buddhist temples such as towers and inner halls.) was built.  Nagamasa Kuroda rebuilt Myorakuji at Gokushomachi since the temple was destroyed by fire during Sengoku period.  As the site of Myorakuji remained stone fortifications (after the battle with Mongolian army, the stone fortifications were built), the shrine was named Sekijyozan.  In its heyday, Myorakuji was the large temple out of 29 tacchu temples(sub-temples).  During the Ming Dynasty, the temple was used as a hotel for the Kenminsen (the delegation from the Ming to Fukuoka).  The temple would also serve as an outpost of what is now called Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Donpekiro was a tall structure built by the prime pupil of Getsudo, Mugashogo, who was said to be a prince of the Emperor Hanazono. It was located on a hill with panoramic views of Hakata Bay.  It was an unusual building.  Donpekiro is a witness that saw a lot of stories of people coming and going on the seas.  Ryoanseiyoku was a priest who probably heard of the stories of Donpekiro from the journeys of Mugashogo and from other travellers.  He composed poems of scenes of the sea in Chinese as he gazed out from Donpekiro.  When I looked at the autumn sky, leaning on the railing of Donpekiro, the evening sun sank while a dragon returned home with black clouds Donpekiro no longer exists, but the magnificent structure filled with romance let overseas people to stir up the imaginations.  Reference/ Sekijyo Iho  Sekijyouzan Myorakuji  published in 1991(Heisei 3)  Yomigaeru Chusei no Hakata  Asahi Shinbun Fukuoka Honbuhen Ashi Shobo  published in 1990(Heisei 2)

ASIANTOPICS vol.8 Report at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Contemporary Fine Arts from China Nov.,13rd (Sat) 2010 - Jan.,10th (Mon) The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum  the 7th floor Exhibition Gallery Feel more and more Chinese power 「The Chinese National Art Exhibition」 is the largest public-offered exhibition held every five years in China.  Around 500 winning works went on display at the National Art Museum of China at the 11th exhibition in late 2009 The Fukuoka  Asian Art Museum selected 81 pieces for display in Japan, in categories such as Chinese painting, oils, watercolor, and sculpture.  China is the fast-growing nation where it hosted the Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo.  The eyes of the world are on China now.   We have a chance to grasp the China of today through contemporary fine arts.  There were pictures drawn of young Chinese people at the entrance.  It was a girl who closed her eyes while putting headphones on her head with the title 「3G life」 by Kan Suping.   It indicated that she blocked the outside world.  Advanced technologies have brought many benefits to our lives, on the other hand, there is also a distance from people that can occur.  The artist advocates that we can no longer afford indifference to this phenomenal.  We sometimes see exactly the same scene in trains in Japan.  Although we live in different countries and have different cultures, we share the same problems. Next is the picture 「Young couple」 by Li Jieping.  The picture was modeled on a couple from rural China who worked as a migrant workers.  The artist emphasized people who were naive and innocence and also depicted their hope for the future.   Migrating workers endure hard work and cruel treatment in an urban city where regional disparities caused serious problems.  Compared to the girl with headphones, I was struck by the powerful look of hope on their facesw..  I'm sure their future is bright.  Wang Wei'an portrayed country life in the work「December.」 The picture depicted the scene of farmers preparing for New Year's by buying and selling things goods.   I understand their cheerful and lively feeling through the picture.  Wang Wei'an portrayed vividly what cheerful and hard-working farmers in China were like in their farmlands.  Editor s notes That's China, huge!  Nothing symbolizes the rapid changes in the city and the youth more than China.  There were the wide-ranging themes such as history, country life, ethnic diversity, and beautiful nature.  The images on China would expand through a variety of messages from the artists.  Fukuoka Asian Art Museum  Contemporary Fine Arts from China Admission  800 yen. Student over high-school : 500 yen. Student under junior high school : free Hours : 10am-8pm ( last entry by 7:30pm) Holiday : Wednesday

ASIAN TAKARABAKO Asian Treasure Asian Cuisine Journey: Vol.4  Whole chicken carcasses Dakkanmari    「Nabe (a hot pot) ? Sounds great.」   The best food to eat on a freezing day is a Nabe.  Korea is a kind of rival in a variety of Nabes against Japan.  Among Nabes, Dakkanmari is the Nabe which could cast a spell on people who don't like spicy food.  Once they try it, they could become addicted.  Dakkanmari means a whole chicken in Korean.  As the name indicates, a fresh whole chicken is cooked slowly.  Richly-textured soup is overwhelming ! It is mouth-watering.   I can't resist drinking every last drop of the soup.  It looks like Mizutaki that is well known for the local dish in Hakata.  A dimly-lit narrow street by the Tongdaemun is lined with Dakkanmari restaurants.  The street is popularly known as Dakkanmari Alley.  As a popular shop is teeming with guests around the clock, sometimes visitors have to wait for their seats.   There is information in Japanese.  Dakkanmari is the popular cuisine among Japanese tourists.  When I stepped into the shop, a whole chicken that was put into a pan like a washtub was served without being asked whether I wanted to or not.  I was wondering if someone could show me how to eat it.  Scissors were used to cut the chicken into bit sized pieces.   At some shops, a shop assistant helps cut chickens.Mix some ingredients for the sauce while waiting for the pot.  Blend hot pepper paste with soy sauce, vinegar, and mustard to your own taste.  You might as well have soup at first.   Since it tasted delicious with the flavor of chicken, I couldn't help but stop having soup.  After you taste soup, try some chickens with the sauce.  The meat was very moist.  There are no grounds for bad tasting.  After you enjoy having chickens, try to taste Karugukusu (handmade noodles).  Even though I was stuffed, I couldn't help trying Karugukusu!  When I glanced at the other tables, the Korean put Kimchi and spices into the pot, eating Karugukusu with a hot red soup.  As may be expected of Korean, they love their hot spicy dishes!  Why don't you try an extra-spicy dish if you like.  Korean people preserve a custom that they share meals from the same pan or same dish, promoting mutual friendship.  Dakkanmari is the cuisine that I want to eat with like-minded friends.  If you have a chance to visit Korea, try it.   

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