I have come to Japan for my artist residency (AIRY – Art Residency in Yamanashi) located in Kofu city. I am here for 3 month, during which I was involved with the Kofu Art Festival. I have found a wonderful, kind and talented community of artists here and I am so excited to be a part of it even though for a short time.
If you go to the web page of the Art Festival you will find a map of the city with clearly marked art locations HERE, by luck my exposition place is marked number 1. Every artist has a different place, like a cafe shop, creative space, restaurant, tea room, mine is an open studio where I am painting every day and exhibiting finished works.
The festival was opened on the September 22nd, artists and guests gathered in the center of the city in front of the gallery where it was announced the festival has begun and for the celebration a big jar with beer was “cracked” open.
After the official part everyone when different directions following the festival map. I must say that local artists have a very creative approach to art. One of the most memorable places was a sight some place behind the building, away from the road next to the constructions where we found nothing else but a bunch or rusty metal and trash, accompanied with terrible smell. I think I would never would have found this place. It was very bold of the artist to make this statement. I liked the various textures of this falling apart place.
Another unique project we found on the roof of an old tea house. The sphere was being made out of bamboo. There was an opening in it, the artist has explained that when it will be finished anyone could have a tea inside the sphere.
We did not forget to take our shoes off entering the tea house.
Serena Lumley, Australia, is another resident at AIRY, she displays works at the lovely cafe. Serena works with oil and acrylics.
Elsa Guillaume, France, is the 3rd resident, she did wall paintings around AIRY, even on the roof.
Izumi Sakamoto is our organizer. She is an artist herself, and for the festival we helped her installing a wonderful hand done textile piece at the cellar of a cute shop.
At 3 pm there was a continuation of the opening party. A great DJ was performing at a gallery. This performance made me miss clubbing.
There are different events through out the festival time, that ends on the October 14th. The opening at our studio was on the 23rd. At noon there was a concert of 3 bands held in my studio. (The works you see on the walls are my latest watercolor paintings).
Later in the evening we, AIRY artists, were invited to give a little talk about our works, after which all of us watched a documentary filmed about AIRY artists last year.
It is not even a middle of the festival and there is so much to happen yet.