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International Collaboration to Create Multifaceted Crystals
Published December 7, 2020

by KYOGOKU Tomohiko

This paper was first presented in:
The Rhetoric of Creative Partnership: Conversations on Cross-Cultural Artistic Exchanges

College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines Diliman  & The Japan Foundation Manila
Plenary 1: Asian Performing Arts Farm 2019
Nov. 14. 2019

I am Tomohiko Kyogoku, a dancer and choreographer based in Japan. First of all, I would like to thank the University of the Philippines Diliman and the Japan Foundation, Manila for inviting me here. And thank you to everyone in this project, especially my friend Ms. Olivia. And also I want to say thank you to everyone coming today. From now, I will talk about this title “International Collaboration to create Multifaceted Crystals”. OK, Let’s start my perfect English presentation ! Charot! I need the help of an interpreter. Thank you for the interpring Ms. Yumi Calderon!

Before getting into the main subject, I would like to tell you one Japanese news related to what I am talking about today. It is news that the Embassy of Japan in Austria has revoked the official recognition of the exhibition “JAPAN UNLIMITED” being held in Vienna, Austria. It is believed that the socially critical works by Japanese artists on display, such as Prime Minister, Emperor Showa, and TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, were regarded as problematic. 

As you can see from the “censorship issue” that occurred at the Aichi Triennale in Japan this summer, the Japanese government is trying to eliminate things that do not meet the government’s policy. Japan may be considered a developed country in Asia in many ways, but the essence is a little different. Old values continue to exist, and there is still an exclusive atmosphere. At this rate, Japan will be left out of the world not only in arts and culture, but also politically and economically. Personally, I think Japan is now in a situation where it has to fundamentally rethink its old values. Today, I would like to talk about something that is a little related to such news. Please relax and listen. 

This time, I and the Philippine director Issa created a work with participants from five Asian countries within the framework of the APAF Exhibition in Asian Performing Arts Farm, commonly known as APAF. These are performers, production assistant, interpreter, and costume designer from each country. This ASIA/N/ESS/ES is the title of the work we created this time. The meaning is multiple “Asianness”. 

Click here to read the full transcript.

excerpt of the original Japanese transcript


本題に入る前にまず、今日私が話す内容と関連する日本のニュースをお伝えします。それはオーストリア・ウィーンで開催中の展覧会「JAPAN UNLIMITED」について、在オーストリア日本大使館が公認を取り消したというニュースです。展示されていた、日本人作家による、安倍晋三首相や昭和天皇、東京電力福島第一原発などを扱った社会批判的な作品が問題視されたとみられています。今年の夏に日本のあいちトリエンナーレで起きた「検閲問題」を見てもわかるように、日本政府は政府の方針にそぐわないものを排除しようとしています。日本は様々な側面で、アジアの先進国だと思われているかもしれませんが、本質は少し違います。古い価値観は残り続け、排他的な空気は今も漂っています。このままでは日本は芸術文化だけでなく、政治、経済的にも世界から取り残されて行くでしょう。個人的に私は、日本は今、自分たちの古い価値観を根本から見直さなければならない状況にあると考えています。今日はそんなニュースと少し関連するような話もトークの中でできればと思っています。リラックスして聴いて下さい。


ここからはパフォーマンスの写真を交えながら、この作品の創作プロセスをご紹介します。まず、このタイトル“ ASIANESSES ”はイッサが提案してくれたものです。私はそこにスラッシュを入れることでアジアというものを様々な単位、角度から再考するというアイデアを加えました。さらにイッサがASIANのNをグレーにすることで、アジア人の個人的なナラティブにフォーカスするというアイデアを加えてくれました。