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Festival: Reborn-Art Festival 2019

Text by CLOT Magazine

Trans-figure, Kohei Nawa. Installation at Pace Gallery. Photo credit: JKA Photography

Reborn-Art Festival returns for the second year to Oshika Peninsula and Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan in an effort to revitalize the areas and communities devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The Festival boasts a variety of artwork, music, and food spread across the Oshika Peninsula. It is expected to bring over 300,000 visitors from around Japan and from all over Asia. It connects the local communities with a large diversity of creatives who sympathize with their struggles and endurance to move forward and aim to celebrate the Tohoku region’s colourful culture, customs, cuisine, and way of life. The theme of the Festival, Texture of Life, draws attention to the fact that in today’s fast-paced society, we often don’t experience the world fully and reminds us to slow down and embrace life with all of our senses, such as our often-overlooked sense of touch and texture.

Seven groups of curators will work with 60 creatives from many disciplines displaying over 30 works in seven regions across Oshika Peninsula. Artists such as Yayoi Kusama, SHIMABUKU, Philippe Parreno, and Kohei Nawa, among others, will transform various areas of the region into art havens in their own individual style complementing the area’s beautiful landscape. The artists have collaborated with locals to learn the history and traditions of the people and the land in different regions, to experience their lifestyle, resilience, values and the area’s habitat, to accurately convey their stories and highlight the region’s rich diversity. 

The artist Kohei Nawa, who is also one of the curators, explores the potentiality of sculpture and architecture, explores space and art, and uses unusual imaginative materials for his sculptures. He has contributed a large-scale magnificent deer sculpture residing in the Oginohama area that celebrates the region’s wildlife. 

In addition to art, the festival also features special musical events and exceptional dining experiences. A series of music performances will include the opera Fourth Dimensional Kenji and a Bon-Odori summer festival. The art, music, and food all take inspiration from the region’s diverse history and nature and complement each other and the environment around them. 

The festival takes place between August 3 and September 29, 2019, all around the Miyagi Prefecture. 

(Media courtesy of Kohei Nawa)
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