Special event: 14 May 2013
The UK’s only professional Tsugaru Shamisen player, Hibiki Ichikawa performed an evening concert of traditional Japanese folk music and original compositions played on the Tsugaru Shamisen and accompanied by singing.
Exhibition: 21 Mar 2013 – 10 May 2013
In Hiraku Suzuki’s practice, drawing is expanded from a primitive method of expression into a contemporary technique of reflection and transformation. Associating the act of drawing with the process of ‘excavation,’ he reveals memories and unknowns which lie dormant within our daily life. His recent drawings, in which he repeatedly uses light reflective materials such as silver marker and spray paint, shift their visibility according to the viewers’ perspective, creating resonance with the immediate environment.
Seminar: 30 April 2013
China’s continuing enhancement of its international presence is a result both of the country’s growing economic and military strength. Since 2008, China has been increasingly assertive in its approach to territorial issues. Can China and its neighbours still build stable and cooperative ‘win-win’ strategic relationships to deal with regional security issues such as North Korean nuclear aggression, boundary questions and navigation and resource rights? This seminar examined these themes and considered them from a neutral British perspective.
Seminar: 18 April 2013
Japan has struggled with chronic deflation since its financial and real-estate bubble burst 20 years ago, triggering a severe financial crisis in 1997-1998. Against this backdrop, the LDP won the general election last December, ushering into the limelight again Shinzo Abe who has since embarked on a new economic initiative, nicknamed “Abenomics, ” which has pushed equity markets up by more than 30%. In this seminar the speakers address the question: ‘What is “Abenomics”, and can it achieve its goal of lifting Japan out of deflation?’
Talk: 9 April 2013
Located in the city of Ise in Mie Prefecture on the eastern coast of Japan, the Ise Shrines are among Shinto’s holiest sites and a place of pilgrimage. The Shinto shrines are dismantled and rebuilt from scratch on an adjacent site to exact specifications every twenty years, in a process called ‘Shikinen Sengu.’ Chiara Hall told the story of the ‘Shikinen Sengu,’ accompanied by her drawings.
Seminar: 4 April 2013
This event brought together two professional pianists and writers – one British and one Japanese – to compare notes on life as a classical musician in the two countries. Japanese classical music has traditionally been an elite pastime, but the Japanese enthusiastically adopted Western classical music in the second half of the 19th Century. Since then, the piano has become Japan’s most popular musical instrument. Classical music has deeper roots in the UK, but the environment for musicians is tough in both countries.
Talk: 2 April 2013
Haroon Mirza, winner of the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize 2012, had a solo show at SCAI THE BATHHOUSE in Tokyo earlier this year as part of the Prize, exhibiting his installation Falling Rope. In this talk, the artist focused on how his experiences in Japan have inspired his artistic practice. Dr Sook-Kyung Lee will act as discussant, investigating the shifting position of media art in contemporary art history.
Seminar: 28 March 2013
In both Japan and the UK, university graduates face intense difficulties finding high-quality employment. In Japan, increasing numbers of young people are classified as ‘freeters’ (people who move frequently between low-paid casual jobs), NEETs (“Not in Education, Employment, or Training”), or hikikomori (young people who have withdrawn from society altogether). In the UK, the trebling of university tuition fees and the associated rise in student indebtedness has added to the pressure for higher education to provide clear routes to employment. But shouldn’t universities also have a broader mission? In difficult economic times, the balance may be shifting.