Takayama Akira “War Painting / Heterotopia – The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo”

Takayama Akira 高山 明
War Painting / Heterotopia – The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Saturday, September 11 – Saturday, October 30, 2021
Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-19:00 (Closed on Mon, Sun, Public holidays)

Press Release

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Takayama’s first Heterotopia series, Tokyo Heterotopia, was presented in 2013 as a “tour performance,” taking the form of a self-guided tour. Participants travelled around Tokyo with guidebooks and radios in hand. At specified locations, they could tune in their radios to readings of stories written by poets and novelists about people from Asia who came to live in Tokyo as students, immigrants, and refugees, revealing Asian history in Tokyo. Since then, the Heterotopia series has expanded throughout the world, including Beitou Heterotopia (Taiwan, 2016), Beirut Heterotopia (Lebanon, 2017), Piraeus Heterotopia (Greece, 2017), Heterotopia Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates, 2019), and Heterotopia Riga (Latvia, 2019). The Tokyo version became an app and continues to this day.

War Painting / Heterotopia – The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo is the first public performance of a project to ‘exhibit’ at other locations paintings depicting war scenes that are held in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. The Japanese military commissioned the production of the majority of these war paintings between 1937 and 1945. After the war, paintings collected by GHQ were seized by America, but were returned to Japan in 1970 on indefinite loan, and 153 are currently held in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

For this exhibition, white walls are lined with QR codes, but there are no actual paintings. When visitors use their phones to access a work by reading a QR code, they hear a reading of a poem created based on a specific war painting. Each poem is written by a poet from the country that is the setting for the painting or otherwise associated with the painting in some way. The readings are performed by the poets themselves. In this way, although not physically present, war paintings held in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo are ‘exhibited’ at the gallery by being visualized as the visitors listen to the readings.

One work at the exhibition, the poem “Grand Fond Blanc (Wonderful White)” by Walis Nokan was written based on Tsuguharu Foujita’s Fierce Fighting of Kaoru Paratroops After Landing on the Enemy’s Position. The soldiers who made up the Kaoru Paratroops were mainly from the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, and this war painting depicts a gruesome scene in which they make a forced landing and attack on an airfield on the island of Leyte in the Philippines occupied by American forces. Walis belongs to one of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan known as the Atayal, and he is widely known in Taiwan as a writer of Taiwanese indigenous literature. The poem is told from the standpoint of one of the Taiwanese soldiers among the Japanese forces depicted in the war painting, and is directed at Foujita, who painted the work. Readings can be heard by Walis himself in the original Chinese or by artist Tsuyoshi Ozawa who provides a Japanese translation.

This exhibition also presents poems created based on Miyamoto Saburo’s Meeting of Generals Yamashita and Percival, Yamashita Shinichi’s British and Australian Captives Work at Inchon, Korea, and Inokuma Genichiro’s Railroad Construction in a Certain Area. There are plans for the project to continue on after this exhibition. This show War Painting / Heterotopia – The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, is the first of what promises to be a fascinating series.

Takayama Akira
Born in 1969. In 2002, he formed the theater company Port B, and since then has been producing installations, touring performances and social experiments utilizing urban spaces as a way of engaging with cities and societies across the world. In recent years, collaboration with those from other fields including visual art, tourism, literature, architecture, and urban researches has seen the scope of his practice broadening further, and he has applied his theatrical philosophy and methodology to opening up new possibilities in a variety of fields. Major works include the Wagner Project (Yokohama, Oita, Frankfurt), McDonald’s Radio University (Frankfurt, Berlin, Tokyo, Kanazawa, Hong Kong), Heterotopia (Tokyo, Athens, Taipei etc.), Compartment City – Vienna (Vienna), Referendum Project (Tokyo, Fukushima, Vienna etc.), and The Complete Manual of Evacuation (Tokyo, Frankfurt). He has participated in major exhibitions, such as Yokohama Triennale (2014), Maison Hermès (2015, Tokyo), Roppongi Crossing (2016, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo), Sharjah Biennial (2017), and Biennale of Sydney (2018). The Wagner Project will be held at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in January 2022.

Walis Nokan
Walis is a writer of Atayal (indigenous people of Taiwan) descent. During the 1990s he started publishing a magazine about indigenous culture and launched an Atayal literary style. The recipient of many literature prizes, He Makes Another Survey (1996) was a semi-finalist for the 19th China Times Literary Award. His work has been widely translated. He continues to play a leading role in the development of indigenous literature and the promotion of public awareness of indigenous history.

Alfian Sa’at
Alfian is a Resident Playwright with W!LD RICE, one of Singapore’s most recognized theatre companies. His published works include three collections of poetry, One Fierce Hour, A History of Amnesia and The Invisible Manuscript, a collection of short stories, Corridor, a collection of flash fiction, Malay Sketches, three collections of plays as well as the published play Cooling-Off Day. Alfian has been nominated eleven times for Best Original Script at the Life! Theatre Awards, eventually winning in 2005 for Landmarks, in 2010 for Nadirah, in 2013 for Kakak Kau Punya Laki (Your Sister’s Husband), and in 2016 for Hotel (coauthored with Marcia Vanderstraaten).

Lee Sul-Yaa
Born in Incheon, South Korea. She completed the doctoral program at the Department of Korean Language and Literature, Graduate School of General Studies, Inha University. She made her debut as a poet in 2011 with the “Writers Opening Tomorrow” New Poet Award, and in 2016 published her collection of poems We Decided to Get Darker (Changbi publishers). In 2017 she won the 1st “Gosan Literature Award” New Poet Award. She was the editor of the quarterly Writers from 2014 to 2019. In 2021, she discovered the life of the independence activist Kim Eungtae, who was the leader of the Kato Rice Mill Strike during the Japanese Emperor era, and introduced it in the “People’s Oral” section of the Writers. Currently, she is working on a new collection of poems translated into Korean and English.

Anusorn Tipayanon
Anusorn Tipayanon was born in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a writer and was awarded the Mekhong Writer Award in 2019. His other published works include fictions such as London Blue, 8 1⁄2 Richters, Chunking Sexpress, Neutrino Romance, Cat in a Cold Flesh Heart, Misty Town and Wayang Amritsa. Now he resides in the northeastern part of Thailand and eagerly researches about the food culture around there.

高山明のヘテロトピアシリーズの第1回目「東京ヘテロトピア」は参加者がガイドブックとラジオを手に東京を巡るツアーパフォーマンスとして2013年に初演されました。指定された場所でラジオの周波数を合わせると、留学生や移民、難民として東京に住むことになったアジアの人々について、詩人や小説家たちが書き下ろした物語の朗読が流れ、東京におけるアジアの歴史が浮かび上がります。その後「ヘテロトピア」シリーズは、北投ヘテロトピア(台湾, 2016年)、ベイルート・ヘテロトピア(レバノン, 2017年)、ピレウス・ヘテロトピア(ギリシャ, 2017年)、アブダビ・ヘテロトピア(アラブ首長国連邦, 2019年)、リガ・ヘテロトピア(ラトビア, 2019年)など世界各地で展開され、東京版はアプリとなって現在も継続されています。

今回初めて公開される「戦争画 / ヘテロトピア - 東京国立近代美術館編」は、東京国立近代美術館にある戦争画を、別の場所で「展示」するプロジェクトです。これら戦争画の多くは1937年から1945年の間に日本軍からの委嘱によって制作されました。終戦後、GHQによって収集された戦争画はアメリカに接収されましたが、1970年に「無期限貸与」という形で日本に返還され、現在153点が東京国立近代美術館に収蔵されています。


今回展示される作品のひとつ、ワリス・ノカンの詩「グラン フォン ブラン(素晴らしい白色)」は藤田嗣治の「薫空挺隊敵陣に強行着陸奮戦す」から創作されました。薫空挺隊の多くは台湾の原住民族出身者で構成され、この戦争画にはフィリピン・レイテ島にあるアメリカ軍占領下の飛行場に強行着陸し襲撃する凄惨な様子が描かれています。ワリスは台湾原住民族の一つ、タイヤル族の出身であり、原住民作家として台湾では広く知られています。詩の中では戦争画に描かれている台湾人日本兵の1人としてそれを描いた藤田に語りかけます。ワリス本人による原文の中国語での朗読と、アーティスト・小沢剛による日本語訳の朗読を聞くことができます。

本展覧会では他に、宮本三郎「山下、パーシバル両司令官会見図」、山本新一「仁川俘虜収容所に於ける英豪兵の作業」、猪熊弦一郎「◯◯方面鉄道建設」から創作された詩を展示いたします。本プロジェクトは今回の展覧会だけにとどまらず、今後も継続されていく予定です。「戦争画 / ヘテロトピア - 東京国立近代美術館編」の初めての展覧会、是非ご高覧ください。

高山 明 Takayama Akira
1969年生まれ。埼玉在住。2002年、演劇ユニットPort B(ポルト・ビー)を結成。実際の都市を使ったインスタレーション、ツアー・パフォーマンス、社会実験プロジェクトなど、現実の都市や社会に介入する活動を世界各地で展開している。近年では、美術、観光、文学、建築、都市リサーチといった異分野とのコラボレーションに活動の領域を拡げ、演劇的発想・思考によって様々なジャンルでの可能性の開拓に取り組んでいる。主な作品に「ワーグナー・プロジェクト」(横浜、大分、フランクフルト)、「マクドナルド放送大学」(フランクフルト、ベルリン、東京、金沢、香港、ブリュッセル)、「東京修学旅行プロジェクト」、「ヘテロトピア」(東京、アテネ、台北、ベイルート他)、「国民投票プロジェクト」(東京、福島、ウィーンほか)、「完全避難マニュアル」(東京、フランクフルト)など多数。また、横浜トリエンナーレ(2014年)、銀座メゾンエルメス(2015年、東京)、森美術館(2016年、東京)、シャルジャ・ビエンナーレ(2017年)、シドニー・ビエンナーレ(2018年)などの展覧会にも参加。2022年1月に金沢21世紀美術館にてワーグナー・プロジェクトを開催予定。

ワリス・ノカン Walis Nokan
台湾のタイヤル族の作家。1990年代、原住民文化に関する「猟人文化」誌の発行などを通じ創作に変化が生れ、タイヤル族の文学スタイルが打ち出された。多くの重要な文学賞を受け、1996年、「伊能再踏查」で時報文学奨新詩類評審奨を受賞。邦訳書に「台湾原住民文学選3 永遠の山地 ワリス・ノカン集」(草風館、2003年)。原住民文学の発展と原住民の歴史に対する理解について主導的な役割を果たし続けている。

アルフィアン・サアット Alfian Sa’at
シンガポールで最も高い評価を受ける劇団のひとつ、ワイルド・ライス(W!LD RICE)座付き作家。詩集「荒々しい一時間」、「健忘症の歴史」、「見えない原稿」、短編小説集「廊下」(日本語訳「サヤン・シンガポール:アルフィアン短編集」、段々社)、ショートショート作品集「マレー・スケッチ」、戯曲「クーリング・オフ・デイ」他の戯曲集がある。主要紙「ストレーツ・タイムズ」主催「ライフ・シアターアワード」最優秀オリジナル戯曲賞に11回ノミネートされ、2005年「ランドマーク」、2010年「ナディラ」、2013年「君の姉さんの旦那」、2016年「ホテル」(マルシア・ヴァンダーストラーテンと共作)で同賞を受賞。

李雪夜(イ・ソルヤ) Lee Sul-Yaa

アヌソーン・ティパヤーノン Anusorn Tipayanon
タイ・バンコク生まれの作家。2019年メコン文学賞受賞。主な著作に「London Blue,」、「8 1⁄2 Richters」、「Chunking Sexpress」、「Neutrino Romance」、「Cat in a Cold Flesh Heart」、「Misty Town」、「Wayang Amritsa」など多数。近年はタイの北東部に住み、地域の食文化について研究をしている。

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