The phrase “double façade” expresses an encounter between art and local community. Going into a building with two fronts (or entrances), we would not know if both entrances lead us to a same space until we are actually inside. For this year’s Koganecho Bazaar, I am using this as a way to consider and question the relationship between community and art. When art tries to approach community, or when community tries to approach art, could they find a contact point? Would there really be a contact point? These questions are posed, based on a presupposition that art and community are not mutually communicative, but rather their relationship is unclear.
Also by inviting a guest curator, this year’s Bazaar attempts to grasp the current challenges of Koganecho from an objective point of view, as well as to shed a light on the side of today’s contemporary art scene, which tries to confront and intervene the issues of the contemporary society at large.
Together with the audience, we hope to think about our mission to build up a world, where we can recognize foreignness and commonality between each other and coexist with mutual respect.
Director, Koganecho Bazaar
About fifty groups of artists live and work in Koganecho all year round. This uniquely creates everyday scenery, where artists and community interact with each other, not in a transient but in an enduring manner. It is in this context, Koganecho Bazaar is held as an annual festival, which provides a place for participating artists from Japan and abroad, audience, artists based in Koganecho and local residents to meet each other and discover new values and perspectives. And this year, Koganecho Bazaar commemorates its tenth anniversary.
The world is leaning strongly toward preservationism and particularism, and noticeably experiencing the loss of diversity and tolerance. The town of Koganecho, too, is known for its history of coexistence and exclusion of illegal brothels. Because of such past experience, I believe that Koganecho has the potential to present a positive vision toward the future.
If it is not always so simple to encounter others and accept new values within the cycle of everyday life, festivity of Koganecho Bazaar, by facilitating unexpected encounters and showing different values, aims to present choices alternative to the current climate and to nurture acceptance of diversity and coexistence in Koganecho, where people of various nationalities and backgrounds live together with artists. This is the main mission of this year’s “Koganecho Bazaar”.
Guest Curator, Koganecho Bazaar 2017
Voguing is a dance form developed by minority groups. Facilitated by Sun Phitthya Phaefunang, this program holds a voguing workshop and one-night ballroom event.
Artist：Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang
Complaints Choir is a collaborative project by Helsinki based artists, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. Its Koganecho version will be produced in collaboration with composer, Yukiko Nishii and members of the local choir.
Bazaar Collectors was a project, which exhibited artworks in private homes and shops in the area during the Koganecho Bazaar 2016. This year, welcoming artist Hiroyuki Matsukage as auctioneer, Moneyless Auction is going to be held with local residents. Works bought through the auction are going to be displayed at home or shop of the successful bettor.
McDonald’s Radio University was presented in Frankfurt, Germany. At Koganecho Bazaar, People living in Yokohama are going to translate and read aloud the lectures from McDonald’s Radio University, and audience will be invited to listen to the “class” on a ship.
Since the port opening of Yokohama, the Koganecho area flourished as a distribution hub. After its experience of the war, the area has a history of transforming into a wholesale district, a red light district and now a place where artists live and work everyday. This program traces back the history of Koganecho through the exhibition of paintings which are made by localresidents through the workshop of painting scenery of Koganecho in their memories.
In the 1980s, the scope of art was expanded from the white cube to the context of the city. Today, we can find art festivals across Japan that are developed in relationship with local communities, and Koganecho Bazaar also celebrates its 10th year. Composed of the three-day long program, this symposium revisits why art has moved into the realm of the city and also facilitates discussions about future directions.