Monday, October 24, 2011

Some of the lovers

Me and a woman who wore a stuffed turtle on her back

The wonderful Kate

Monsieur (pronounced 'mooshu') Mark

Hiro, in his kitchen at Kogenichu

Izumi preparing for her tea ceremony

Rai working his magic

The amazing Nishiko

Our spirit guide

The wonderful Hiharu

Shop that sells everything

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I wish I had a word to describe what went on

Unfortunately there isn't one. Excruciating was used often, waste of time and money, let alone energy occurred often as well. I wish I'd taken photos of all the wonderful people I met there, and their projects that helped sustain me when things were dire.
Its over now, and I have a new lease of life back in summery Sydney. The cicadas are singing, the garden has grown. Takara has never been sweeter, nor the bed more comfy, or the fridge more cooling. I'm doing my washing and hanging it on the line, admiring the trees I planted, and just feel really sorry I couldn't have made more of the experience and tried to bridge the gap with the office at Shin-Minatomura.
I keep asking myself what I did wrong, not bring presents in the beginning? Not bow and scape more? I will never know, and have to try and not take things personally, as I could see that we were not the only ones being ignored and undermined at every stage.
What fuckers, to invite us all the way there and be so chronically mis-managed and so inept. There was no farewell, there was no goodbye. I had my last smoke and drink in the rain outside on their pathetic loading dock, thinking good riddance, I hope to never step foot into this place again, and thank god for that. Thank god it is over and we are back on home soil where we can communicate and reason, and are shown at least a modicum of respect for our activities.
I've abandoned anger, in fact it has abandoned me. I think I blew a fuse in my emotive hot-wiring on that last day there, and maybe I am cured of the fury at having so much time wasted and so much un-fulfillment. Life is not meant to be so hard and one should not have to suffer so much to realise a project and make an offering of practise.
I will miss the toilets that flush for you, the cosy little coffee shops, with low chairs, great atmos and terrible coffee...I will miss Japan's general hyper-silly obsession with cuteness and the most twee decoration I have seen in my many juxtapositions and contrasts with every day life, I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND BUT WHICH NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME.
I can only count my lucky stars that I have a home filled with love and some great memories of the wonderful artists I met with and worked with there.
Izumi Murate; superstar extraordinaire...
Nishiko, you are amazing.
Kumiko, I love you and wish we could do nude photographs together, and thanks for letting me put my jeans near your work.
Guillermo Pfaff, for being you, and for making those great paintings in your folding space.
Rai Fujii, for your great work and music playing.
Aki Namba, you are SUCH A HONEY.
Hiro Masuda; for your great kitchen parties and fabulous cooking.
Cannot fail to mention the amazing Bec Dean, who came to the table, and suffered me, and who I also had an amazing time having fun with. I love you and wish we had gotten nude together, as you know.

No title

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Relational aesthetics

Sugoi! I hear the proclamations and am heartened, I suppose, but is it really great? I field the questions/comments and exclamations, repeating endless thanks and repeating wabi-sabi, mottainai, maki-e, tokonoma, suzuri-baki, tatami are all the words I utilise.
There are stacks of people coming through, when the shuttle bus comes, theres a sudden surge, but yesterday it was endless. So much going on in this space, so much noise and movements as the various artists continue their works.
I enjoy providing cultural content, truly, but what else of it? I feel like I am at an art fair, with my booth. Getting some work done whilst answering to the struggling English that unfortunately is so difficult to understand.
Mercy on me, under the glaring lights and airless room, I come apart every half hour or so.
I don't know what else to do other than work, I don't have the money to travel, and theres no internet at home, so I come here.

Shin Minatomura

Staying in Dream Heights has embellished my dream life, each night of quiet I feel I can hear my dreams more clearly. Last night I was swimming in a large ocean pool, a jade green underwater, with blooms of golden seaweeds floating beautifully like a perfectly arranged garden. I could breathe underwater, and stay deep down. It was so very beautiful and wonderful.
Today is a warm day in Yokohama and a public holiday. Yesterday was some sort of giant sport's carnival up the road and today was band practice and it seemed like running games. The brass orchestra was tuning their instruments, but it sounded like they were playing a Steve Reich symphony, it was a wall of sound, perfectly arranged and monumental. There aren't many sounds that encourage me to remove my Ipod, but this was delicious.
The city was busy, but I got down to the pier easily for once, and felt a knowledge of where I was going...less than 2 more weeks of doing this. Phew, I am looking forward to being in the comfort of my home and environment again.
Have had some great times in Koganichu, a site of artist's studios and workshops. Last night Bec cooked san choy bow for Hiro's street stall down there, which was held in the market place. Following this we retired to his kitchen for boozing and meeting casual strangers. Hiro baked an impromptu banana and white chocolate pie which was devoured immediately after removing from the oven at 11pm. Now thats service! Unfortunately, when we got back to Totsuka the buses weren't running so we had to wait half an hour for a taxi along with fifty other inconvenienced citizens. Motherfucking buses. They charge twice the daily fare after 11pm, and then just cancel their services.
No-one to complain to except Bec, and the poor fellow in front of us in the queue who capitulated by putting on his headphones.
The traffic here is terrible, all the robotic looking compact cars, windows shut full of tidy occupants sitting endlessly in hour long jams, looking stupefied.
Saw a great performance the other night by a Homeless Theatre group, down at the Pier. It was great. Sensitive issues dealt with humanely and creatively, very moving and dark. The set was bare, except a large koi in a tank, which was emblematic of the men's movements and fragility. Afterwards someone asked me what I thought of the performance, finding it located in Japan, I said I thought it was very universal and completely comprehensible to me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yokohama surprises

Fingernail arts

Bec buying a drawing
I still get a surprise each time I look up and see I am in Japan again. I’m really here, and this is all going on, it is pretty exciting really.
The forest across the street is impressive, and dense, the sounds that emanate from there at night are strange and wondrous, and the air is always good. Really, to walk up the road next to the forest, it exhales the sweetest scents, and I just soak it up, that green air. The life that forages in there and the abundance of mosquitoes on entering is astounding. I saw a woman come rushing out with swarms of them following her! And then they came for me, but they really just have a cursory bite of and then leave, I taste wrong to them!
The weather is sublime, and I got fed Bec’s amazing cooking last night, replete with tastiness and excellence beyond gourmet standards.
Hm, all there is to do is get the work and install it! This seems the hardest of things.
We have been here six days and feel settled in, know our way around and can navigate the system. I can work from home in Dream Heights, part of Dream Land, Totsuka just 50 minutes from Yokohama. To be in Dream Heights seems like an uber celebration of Dream Island, and it all does seem like a dream, memories. If you have time to process them and then come back to this living world, it is a true gift I am so grateful for. The life we have lived that we can play back in our memories, through our compact brains, sort through the past and re-live some of those moments.
Although when I am in the living, I am trying to absorb the moments that I can relish later, the flash of a beautiful woman on the bus, in fact, everyone on the bus and their silent un-moving stance, its fascinating the stillness and sincere quietude that predominates on the buses out here…Oh, but that beautiful woman, so serene and delightful to watch, head down waiting for her stop, contemplating what extraordinary beauty I will never know.
The moments of looking around and seeing all that is going on at any given time, the mass reflectivity of it all and multi-levelled layers and dimensions. Space seems elastic, with more and more abundance and sights being packed into it, and I know it is Japan, that piling up and smushing more on, its not just fucking beautiful it is fucking ugly as well. There is so much to take in, I am inundated and somewhat exhausted when I go out into the real world. I can’t take it all in, much as I want to there is too much foreigness in this strange Switzerland-perfect Asiatic island lifestyle.
I have my fortune already in what I can make with my hands and their discards.