• Artist: Motoyuki Shitamichi

  • Taro Yasuno

  • Toshiaki Ishikura

  • Fuminori Nousaku

  • Curator: Hiroyuki Hattori

Exhibition

May 11, 2019

Opening of the 58th Venice Biennale: International Art Exhibition

Exhibition

May 8 – 10, 2019

Preview (vernissage)

Exhibition

May 4, 2019

The artists and curator head for Venice to prepare for the opening of the exhibition. They plan to stay until around May 12.

Research

March 27–, 2019

While the other members are in Venice setting up the exhibition, Ishikura, who remained in Japan, is spending several days on Tarama Island to investigate the Mushiokuri event. Ishikura is drawing on the “Cosmo-Eggs” project to expand his research.

Meeting

March 24, 2019

Hattori is in the second day of setting up the exhibition in Venice. He holds a video conference with Shibahara, who had suddenly become involved in the editing team for the catalogue and the designer Tanaka. The Appear In online video conference service works pretty well.

Exhibition

March 22 – 30, 2019

Along with the installation team, Shitamichi, Yasuno, Nousaku, and Hattori are in Venice for the set-up of the exhibition.

Meeting

March 15, 2019

Tanaka, LIXIL, and Hattori hold a meeting on the catalogue at Tanaka’s office. Finally, the overall image becomes visible, and everyone is relieved.

Production

March 13, 2019

Shitamichi’s drawings, nautical charts, and other materials are shipped from Tokyo to Venice. They are scheduled to arrive on March 20.

Production

March 7, 2019

The balloon is shipped from Tokyo to Venice.

Production

March 1, 2019

PR materials (text and images for social media, etc.) to be sent to the Venice Biennale Foundation are submitted to the Japan Foundation.

Production

February 27, 2019

A discussion on details of the exhibition is held at Nousaku’s office. They examine color samples for the wall that arrived from Venice and decide on the color of paint to use.

Production

February 25 – 28, 2019

Shitamichi once again shoots tsunami boulders on Ishigaki Island. This is the last video session for the project.

Production

February 16 – 17, 2019

Shitamichi attends an event for the exhibition of graduation works at the Akita University of Art as a guest. Shitamichi, Ishikura, and Hattori gather in Akita, paint an MDF board the same as the wall in the Japan Pavilion grey, and experiment in engraving characters in it with an engraving knife.

Event

February 1, 2019

The Japan Foundation, LIXIL, Case, the designer Tanaka, Hattori, and Ishikura gather in the afternoon and have a meeting on publication. In the end, the catalogue will be jointly published by LIXIL and Case, with LIXIL Publishing the Japanese version, and Case Publishing the English version. Hattori speaks at the Japan Foundation Asia Center’s symposium, “Representation and Participation: The Venice Biennale and the Southeast Asian Pavilions,” along with curators from Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia. He gives a presentation entitled “A Methodology of Co-Diveristy.”

Production

January 31, 2019

A draft of the myth arrives from Ishikura. It fits together wonderfully with the Tsunami Boulder video and Yasuno’s music.

Production

January 22, 2019

Shitamichi, Tanaka, and Hattori visit Yasuno’s studio in Saitama, and match up Shitamichi’s video and Yasuno’s music for the first time. They fit together surprisingly well. The idea of engraving Ishikura’s Cosmo-Eggs creation myth on a wall emerges.

Event

January 21, 2019

Another visit is made to LIXIL Publishing. In the evening, a discussion on the returning exhibition is held at the office of the Ishibashi Foundation. In the night, Tanaka, Nousaku, and Hattori talk with Daijiro Ohara at an event related to the Daijiro Ohara & Yoshihisa Tanaka Joint Exhibition “Ohara’s Physicality, Tanaka’s Bionomics.” They discuss a lot of things about “Cosmo-Eggs.”

Production

January 20, 2019

The texts and images for overall catalogue and guidebook for the 58th International Art Exhibition published by the Venice Biennale Foundation are submitted to the Japan Foundation. Afterwards, they will be translated into English and Italian. Submission of some materials is delayed until February or later due to issues such as receiving signatures for permission to use images and texts.

Meeting

January 8, 2019

A visit is made to Case Publishing to discuss the publication of a catalogue.

Meeting

December 25, 2018

A visit is made to LIXIL Publishing in the morning to discuss the possibility of publishing a catalogue. Afterwards, there is a meeting at the Ishibashi Foundation’s office regarding the returning exhibition. Furthermore, in the afternoon, a meeting involving Tanaka is held at Nousaku’s office to discuss the graphics and sign design in the exhibition space.

Production

December 17, 2018

Yasuno, Nousaku, and Hattori once again visit Aerotech for the final balloon test. Yasuno buys a thick hose from a nearby hardware store and attaches it to the bass recorder flute, making it possible to produce a stable volume. The balloon is almost completed.

Event

December 15, 2018

Shitamichi, Ishikura, and Hattori move from Kanazawa to Kyoto and take part in a symposium hosted by Kyoto Anthropological Society at the Kyoto City University of Arts Art Gallery @KCUA. As it relates to the symposium’s theme of “Collaboration between Anthropology and Art,” they present a “Composition of Co-Diversity.”

Event

December 14, 2018

Shitamichi, Ishikura, and Hattori give a special lecture entitled “The Cosmology of Co-Diversity” at Kanazawa College of Art.

Production

December 6, 2018

A meeting on construction is held at Nousaku’s office, involving Higure.

Production

December 5, 2018

Yasuno and Nousaku visit Aerotech. They test out connecting the nearly-completed balloon and recorder flutes, but a problem with the sound volume arises. They have several revisions to make before the final test 10 days or so later.

Research

November 29, 2018

Shitamichi and Hattori go to Sendai. They visit Kazuhisa Goto, who is researching tsunami boulders from a tsunami engineering perspective at Tohoku University.

Research

November 16 – 18, 2018

Shitamichi goes back to Tarama Island in time for the Uganbutuchi event. He videos tsunami boulders during the sugar cane harvest.

Production

November 15, 2018

Shitamichi, Yasuno, and Hattori meet at Nousaku’s office to discuss the screen, wall colors, and how to hang Yasuno’s recorder flutes. Afterwards they move to Tanaka’s office to meet each other and talk about graphics.

Event

November 12, 2018

All the artists gather in Akita to participate in the symposium “Perspectives on Co-Diversity” hosted by the Akita University of Art. This is a valuable opportunity, as it is the second time for all the artist to gather. A meeting is held on new candidates for the screen material and a test of video projection.

Production

November 5, 2018

Yasuno finishes the pitch table for all fingerings for the recorder machines. All sounds outputted by the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass machines are written down.

Research

October 29 – November 4, 2018

Ishikura and Shitamichi investigate the Miyako Islands and Tarama Island. They participate in the Myakuzutsu ceremony on Ikema Island in the Miyako Islands. On Tarama Island, they mainly conduct investigation for Tsunami Boulder. Shitamichi takes videos of tsunami boulders, while Ishikura researches myths and stories related to tsunami boulders.

Meeting

October 26, 2018

Shitamichi and Hattori meet in Nagoya and discuss the video loop and possibilities for collaboration.

Production

October 23, 2018

Hattori travels from Sapporo to Saitama to visit Yasuno. Higure also comes to the studio that Yasuno rented to create works, and they discuss the device for hanging the recorder flutes, and how to fix them on the ceiling of the Japan Pavilion.

Production

October 22, 2018

The idea for a movable screen with wheels is nearly finalized.

Meeting

October 19, 2018

Hattori travels from Kanazawa to Tokyo to visit Yoshihisa Tanaka. They talk about thoughts on design for more than an hour. There are many things that Hattori can empathize with, so Hattori discusses Tanaka’s participation in the project as a graphic designer.

Production

October 16, 2018

Nousaku, Yasuno, and people from Aerotech Co., Ltd., the company that will be producing the balloon, meet at Yasuno’s studio to discuss a balloon. The Aerotech staff bring samples, making the ideas easy to check out.

Production

October 6, 2018

A study on 10 patterns of set-up ideas combining the screen and projector stand for Tsunami Boulder is proposed by Nousaku.

Meeting

October 4 – 9, 2018

Nousaku visits Venice. On October 8, a meeting is held over Messenger with Nousaku in Italy, Ishikura and Hattori in Akita, and Shitamichi in Aichi.

Production

October 1, 2018

Yasuno rents a studio in Saitama until February 2019 to create the works for the project.

Production

September 28, 2018

Shitamichi and Hattori go from Nagoya to Kyoto and Osaka. They look at art books in bookstores in Kyoto and Osaka to consider candidates for the graphic designer. They are drawn to the work of Yoshihisa Tanaka.

Production

September 19 – 23, 2018

Hattori visits Palermo to see the Manifesta 12. Then he moves to Venice. Shitamichi, Yasuno, and Hattori meet up there. Before and after closing of the facility, they conduct a variety of simulations, including the spatial layout, and the flow of light. They connect with Nousaku, who is in Japan, via Messenger and have a meeting on September 23.

Production

September 6, 2018

Ishikura and Hattori visit Yasuno’s workspace at Nihon University College of Art Ekoda Campus. They report about the Miyako and Yaeyama investigation and speak about a wide range of topics from myths to music.

Production

September 5, 2018

The Ishibashi Foundation announced that the Bridgestone Museum of Art (currently closed for the construction of a new building) will be renamed the Artizon Museum. They also officially release an announcement of the returning exhibition.

Production

August 27, 2018

The specifications for balloon production are almost finalized.

Research

August 17 – 25, 2018

Shitamichi, Ishikura and Hattori investigate the Miyako Islands and Ishigaki Island in Okinawa. They also visit Hateruma Island and Kuro Island. Ishikura also takes a look at the Sohron Festival, a lunar calendar Bon Festival event held in the Yaeyama Islands from the 23rd through the 25th, August.

Production

August 9, 2018

The team tests out projection at a gymnasium in Oji, Kita-ku to decide on a projector and screen. They test out two types of projectors with the support of Canon Marketing Japan Inc. and pick the WUX500ST model as the candidate.

Production

July 30, 2018

Nousaku and Yasuno come up with a new idea for the balloon. They propose a major change from the previous idea of creating balloon stairs below the pilotis to creating a gigantic balloon bench penetrating the floor to the exhibition room.

Production

July 19, 2018

A meeting on installation is held with Higure 17-15 cas, an art work installation team that has been requested to set up the exhibition and provide technical support for the artists’ works. Consultation mainly relates to the projector and screen.

Production

July 12 – August 21, 2018

Yasuno looks for a balloon company for his music composition.

Research

July 7 – 9, 2018

The team investigates the Miyako Islands in Okinawa. Ishikura has other plans, so Hattori goes with Shitamichi, Yasuno, Nousaku, and Sato from the Japan Foundation.

Meeting

July 5, 2018

The first overall meeting is held at the Japan Foundation. Finally, the four artists and the curator all meet. They also visit the Ishibashi Foundation, co-organizer of the returning Venice Biennale exhibition in 2020.

Production

June 7, 2018

A press conference is held at the Japan Foundation. The names of the artists and curator participating at the Japan Pavilion are released, along with the plans.

Meeting

May 28, 2018

Hattori holds a Skype meeting with the artists to make some minor revisions before the press release. They talk about issues that the selection committee had pointed out.

Production

May 17, 2018

Hattori receives a phone call at the university in Akita that his plan was selected.

Production

May 11, 2018

Six curators take turns giving presentations at the qualifier held at the Japan Foundation. 20 minutes are designated for presenting the plan, and 15 minutes for questions and answers.

Production

May 7, 2018

Hattori brings the proposal from his home in Nagoya to the Japan Foundation in Tokyo and submits it.

Production

May 6, 2018

Hattori finishes up the proposal, gets the participating artists to provide their revisions, and it is almost completed.

Meeting

May 4 – 5, 2018

Shitamichi, Yasuno, Nousaku, and Hattori spend the night in Nagoya brainstorming ideas to flesh out a proposal. Ishikura joins the group via Skype. They imagine the floor holes and wall space in the Japan Pavilion in their actual dimensions while looking at a model to consider the composition of the project. Yasuno proposes several music plans. Essentially, he is pursuing music composition rather than sound art, so everyone settles on mimicking the songs of birds with Zombie Music on recorder flutes. Ishikura brings up egg creation myths, in which the universe is born from an egg, so they decide on “Cosmo-Eggs” as the title.

Meeting

April 23, 2018

Hattori visits Nousaku’s residence and office, Holes in the House, along with Shitamichi, and is shocked by the architectural space. It is an outstanding structure. Hattori feels a sense of empathy for so much of Nousaku’s thoughts and actions and is sure that they all could create a wonderful project together.
In the afternoon on the same day, Hattori and Shitamichi meet with Yasuno at Coffee L’ambre in Shinjuku, Tokyo. They talk about how to involve a musician to launch a project centered on Tsunami Boulder.

Production

April 18, 2018

Hattori sends e-mails to Taro Yasuno and Fuminori Nousaku to ask them to participate in the project. Hattori has experienced several of Yasuno’s works, and after researching Nousaku primarily through the internet and books, he feels a stronger sense of connection with him than with any other architect, so he decides to ask him. Hattori has only received a tiny bit of information about his character from friends but decides to take a gamble and contact him anyway.

Meeting

April 15, 2018

Hattori meets with Shitamichi at Komeda’s Coffee in Hoshigaoka, Nagoya. They decide to see if Taro Yasuno and Fuminori Nousaku would be interested in participating.

Meeting

April 5, 2018

Hattori has a Skype meeting with Shitamichi and Ishikura.

Production

March 23, 2018

At a party to honor teachers at the graduation ceremony for the Akita University of Art, Hattori asks Toshiaki Ishikura to be involved from the concept design phase and provide advice from an anthropological perspective.

Meeting

March 18, 2018

After seeing an exhibition at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Hattori meets with Motoyuki Shitamichi at a Mos Burger restaurant in Nisshin and tells him that he will be entering the competition for Venice. They talk there about Shitamichi participating as an artist, and as Hattori was listening to him speak about his recent works and activities, he becomes interested in his Tsunami Boulder. Hattori asks him things such as if they could work on a project as a team.

Production

March 17, 2018

Hattori once again replies by e-mail, stating that he will officially enter the competition.

Production

March 9, 2018

Hattori replies from Cuba that he will think about it, as he is visiting to set up an exhibition which he co-curated.

Production

March 8, 2018

Hattori receives a request to participate in a competition to be named the curator for the Japan Pavilion in the 58th Venice Biennale: International Art Exhibition by e-mail.