The House of Asanogawa
What is "Everyone on the Fringe"?
In KANAZAWA FRINGE, which is a project based on artists in residence, participating artists and creators met with many people brimming with individuality throughout the process of creating their works in the city of Kanazawa.
This year, in addition to the artists and directors, we are naming the valuable partners and colleagues involved in the project's creations as "everyone on the fringe". We'd like to take a moment to introduce the "life-sized voices" of each of these individuals.
TEI-EN Bento Project
TEI-EN Bento Project
Yudai Shii／Ceramic artist
I have previously worked part-time for artist Shunsuke Inada, whose works include the "TEI-EN Bento Project". It was through this connection that I was introduced to director Yoko Ueda, and when wondering what could possibly happen this time around, the "TEI-EN Bento Project" was born. So you could say that while I have a “cupid-like” role, I'm also in the miraculous position of being considered member of this project. For anyone who thinks that since it's "art" that anything will pass as "sincere yet misconstrued Kanazawa cuisine", I especially recommend them to come and try the food! (laughs) I hope this project will provide interesting insights into how people perceive and approach food.
Fun With Cancer Patients：Kanazawa
Miyo Kimura／Nurse（"Tsudoiba Hanaume" Cancer Support House of Ishikawa Prefecture）
I became a participant in this project after the "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa" team visited our support group for cancer patients known as "Tsudoiba Hanaume". I vividly remember feelings of relief and trust after witnessing the warmhearted attitude that artist Brian Lobel and director Yuko Kuroda had toward others. Due to the nature of a nurse's job, I frequently hear stories from patients and their families. Sometimes the topic of conversation can turn from nonchalant exchanges to talking about the most serious aspects of a patient's situation. That's why instead of creating a place with an approach of "we must understand their dilemma" or "we need to solve their problems", I hope this project can naturally foster a place where a casualness through frank conversation is able to occur.
I'm actively involved in art and experienced the loss of my wife to cancer 10 years ago. Since my background fits perfectly with the focus of "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa", I was contacted by Miyo Kimura of the Tsudoiba Hanaume cancer patient support group. As an illustrator, I often draw portraits, and it was at an event some time ago that I actually drew a portrait of Miyo, which has turned out to be a wonderful coincidence. I think that art is about shaking up preconceived ideas. Based on this definition, I really look forward to seeing how this project, which challenges preconceived themes of cancer, will change the participants' ideas as well as my own ideas about cancer.
Like Tsukapon, I also learned about "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa" through an introduction from Miyo Kimura. I currently work as a counselor providing guidance and education on the subjects of life and gender. This project gives me a strong feeling that some sort of life energy will emerge from the social encounters between cancer and art. Everyone at some point in their lives confronts phases that seem like a crisis of the soul, and it is times like these when having someone you can trust is so important. This is why I hope that this project will provide encounters that resonate on the "soul level" for both myself and everyone else involved.
Ikiko Nakamura／Nurse（Working in a nursery school）
I previously had the opportunity to talk with Yuko Kuroda, who is the director of "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa", during a break while performing in a picture card show event held at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. During the casual conversation, Yuko discerned that I was a cancer patient and then asked if I would join as a member of the project. Although I'm participating as an interested party, participating in this project for me has really made me think about my family who give me support. Therefore I would be delighted to share my thoughts together with everyone else involved.
Shunsuke Kanno／Physical therapist
（"Nanairo" Visiting nursing care station）
It was originally through my involvement in cancer patient rehabilitation at a hospital that I became a participant in this year's "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa" project. From the standing point of the medical profession, I've personally witnessed many instances of fluctuations in patients' state of mind. This is why I'd like to consider from a neutral standpoint together with everyone about what can be done and what we need to learn and be mindful of to ensure that everyone can be comfortable being themselves. Regardless of our competency at self-expression, we should work hard toward our goals, enjoy things we like to the fullest, and try to confront and overcome difficulties. In doing so, I think everyone who lives the life they chose for themselves are, in a way, artists as well!
Noritaka Hashi／Social worker（“Kasuga” Community General Support Center of Kanazawa city)
I normally work at the Community General Support Center that provides counseling services to the elderly. I became a participant in "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa" after receiving an invitation from the Tsudoiba Hanaume cancer patient support group to take part in a sleepover. By the end of the sleepover, I realized that a significant change had occurred in the way I felt toward this subject. While I'm slightly nervous about how things will pan out on the day, I'm looking forward to perhaps sharing some of the same feelings that this project evoked in me with the other participants.
I am an American photographer who lives and works in London, England. I have been working with artist Brian Lobel for several years. Brian asked me to work with him on "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa" and I enthusiastically accepted his invitation. Since I specialize in artist portraits, live performances, and stills photography for film and television, I'll be working as the photographer on this year's "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa". Many times I've witnessed the instant at which long-term partnerships are formed between cancer patients and cancer survivors though my photography of this project. I think the challenge this time is whether the project can act as a catalyst for changing the taboo of talking about sickness.
I was born in Tokyo, raised in London, and now work as a producer across live performance, film, and television. "Fun with Cancer Patients: Kanazawa" is a highly interactive project designed to create an open and safe environment through conversation, and is the first project of its kind in Japan. The project addresses certain aspects that have not been talked about until now under the theme of living together with cancer, and as is always the case with works created by Brian, it is thoughtful, provocative, and humorous. As a result, I think it will be a very stimulating experience for all parties involved. We visited Kanazawa once back in June of this year to meet with participants and start research for the project. I was struck by the open-mindedness and warmth of everyone who welcomed us and thought Kanazawa to be a very nice city.
Walk with Me
Iris Hung ／ Management Director
（Bamboo Curtain Studio / Taiwan）
I am the managing director of an art studio based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Last year a studio artist from the Kanazawa art space "Kapo" participated in our residency program. That led to the further exchanges between Taiwan and Kanazawa and a mutual connection resulting in the creation of this year's "Walk with Me" project. My studio also undertakes cultural innovation though art while collaborating with various organizations both domestically and overseas. Any kind of innovation takes time to take shape. Since I have frequently witnessed the moment when an artist plants a seed in people's minds, I thought it would be very romantic if the same thing were to happen at KANAZAWA FRINGE.
The House of Asanogawa
Masatoshi Utajima／Pianist, Ethnical instrument player
Although I'm a resident of Izumo city in Shimane prefecture, this year Yuuki Aoki of Sokerissa! asked me to play an impromptu accompaniment for the members' performance. There have been many exchanges between Izumo and Kanazawa so this request to play feels like a strange coincidence. While I'm normally active as a jazz pianist, I also play performances that frequently make use of ethnic musical instruments in a style that I refer to as "Japanese shaman music". This is because I wish to pursue "sound as an offering" for things that cannot be seen or heard. To ensure a deep experience for participants of the extraordinary performance of "The House of Asanogawa", I am hoping to snuggle up to some of the minute fluctuations that occur there.
Tomoyuki Minagawa／Non Profit Organization Frendy
I am the director of the nonprofit organization Friendy that manages lodgings for the needy in the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama located in Kanagawa prefecture. While providing livelihood and employment support, we ask ourselves if there's anything else we can provide as a temporary place for people to stay. It was during a process of trial and error last year that I learned about Sokerissa! Some users of our lodgings are actually participating members of the group. These members are definitely more lively compared to when we first met them, and I've noticed a definite increase in their self-esteem. I'm sure not many people have witnessed dancing performed in public by those who are currently living on the street or who have experienced living on the street. I will also do my part to promote their activities to ensure that their feelings and concerns are conveyed through this project.