Courtesy of the artist and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
It was really great to see Kei Takemura in Ichihara. It has been ages since we last met…
I visited “Ichihara Art x Mix” to see her new installation.
Within the limits of a day trip, I decided to take my time and enjoyed walking and listening to the birds singing. Spring was just around the corner.
Naka-Boso International Art Festival “Ichihara Art x Mix,” is held over 52 days from March 21 to May 11, 2014.
The geographical name for the land upon which the former Tsukide Elementary School stands, is derived from the phrase “that where the moon rises.” It was here in which Berlin-based artist Kei Takemura created works in residence.
In the café “Tsuki to Dango” (Moon and Dumplings) located on the first floor of the school, I ordered a lunch of homemade dumplings made from local rice flour, and some soup. It was a pleasant rest for myself, tired from being rocked back and forth on the highway bus on route.
A large furnace was installed in the schoolyard allowing individuals to experience making authentically baked sweet-potatoes and grilled pizza, with various entertaining events scheduled to take place daily.
I climbed the stairs of the old school building towards the room where Kei Takemura’s works were.
The windows in the small classroom face on to the schoolyard capturing plenty of natural light, and a gentle spring breeze flows through the space.
A large photograph hung from the ceiling. A layer of beautifully embroidered cloth placed before it sways in the breeze, as if overlapping fragments of memory.
Each time the wind blows the cloth lifts to reveal a glimpse of a section of the photograph once hidden; the unembroidered areas of organdy tinged with light drifts, and create an array of glistening ripples. I stood awhile forgetting time, embracing the resonant lull.
I inadvertently turn around and discover a number of photo albums aligned upon the classroom shelf.
In looking at the old photographs of the children who used to attend the school, I once again bring myself to come face to face with the world of work.
The old photographs of unknown children that the artist found in Germany overlap with the image of the students from the school and transcend space and time, inevitably connecting with one another.
About an hour’s drive on the highway bus from Tokyo, I move further from place to place riding in the small tour bus.
Rising early than usual to blue spring skies, venturing on a small day journey.
I feel a breath of fresh air, immersing in the presence of various art and delicious food.