Wisconsin-Saitama Art Exchange 2002 October 1-8, 2002, Japan JAPANESE Official Web Site: Wisconsin-Saitama Art Exchange 300 images from this trip by Doug Haynes: www.emeraldstudio.com/asiatrip other images from this trip by Tamlyn Akins: www.emill.com/akinssite/japan/japan.html larger image of the flyer
DAY 1: 9/30-10/1 Travel to Japan ..and...DAY 2: 10/2 Welcome events and reception
I departed from Madison with 9 travelers (6 artists and their families) to Chicago and from Chicago to Tokyo Narita airport, there was typhoon we encountered. 12-hour flight became 19-hour by the time we finally landed on the Osaka New International airport. We took a charter bus which Airline prepared for us and stayed a night at the Kobe Bay Sheraton in Kobe. We checked the hotel in at 11:30pm. The fancy rooms have marble bathroom like a movieÉ And the next early morning, we had a very nice breakfast buffet which could cost more than $20. Our Airline took care of all these cost since our flight was the only one, which was diverted yesterday. After the fine breakfast, we jumped on the bus and went to the New Kobe train station. And then we took the fastest on bullet train in Japan "NOZOMI". On the way to Tokyo, we saw Mt. Fuji under the clear blue sky after the typhoon. We arrived at the Tokyo station around 12:30pm and at the platform we were greeted by the Japanese hosting artists. A day later, at last we met! But we were quickly taken to their cars waiting out side of the station and we had to rush to the Saitama Modern Art Museum where welcoming events were soon to start. Immediately upon our arrival to the museum, very well prepared welcoming events started at the Japanese traditional house which has built for ceremoney like tea and other traditional art performances. And we joined the rest of our group both Japanese and Americans. It was a sunny and muggy day after the typhoon but a wonderful grand opening was really really nice...
So, this is Japanese traditional green powder (MATCHA) tea ceremony. The blue shirt man, Mike elegantly bowed and handled the tea ware which made other guests surprised. According to Mike, he saw many Kurosawa movies and learned from them! We were so lucky to also participate the traditional tealeaf ceremony called SENCHA. Green tea powder ceremony is very popular but this tealeaf ceremony is rare to be performed. It is closer to the Chinese tea ceremony. We were served a small sweets and tea with a small teacup. On the other hand, at the green tea powder ceremony, we were served a traditional Japanese cake made of AZUKI red bean paste, which decorated, as a shape of persimmons. The tea master told that she wanted to share the Japanese autumn season through this cake. (Photograph by Ms. Kitayama)
We were also invited to see the traditional Japanese dance called JIUTA-MAI. A beautiful UKIYO-E figure like performer wears KIMONO costume and heavy makeup elegantly danced with a musician who sang and also played a Japanese guitar called SHAMISEN. Here I am greeting a beautiful dancer. She studied under the master who is a Japanese national treasure. She must become a famous and important performer in Japan, too. We were so lucky to see such an authentic special performance.
This is the Saitama Modern Art Museum , the largest exhibition among three others and Wisconsin artists' demonstration were held.
After the welcoming events, we moved to the Saitama Modern Art Museum and saw our group exhibition. 50 artists exhibited two pieces each. The large exhibition room was divided into three sections and all styles of artwork were installed harmoniously. It was a very energetic exhibition.
We were socializing and eating after the welcome reception at a restaurant of the Saitama Art Museum. The restaurant has a nice garden patio where artists sat down and introducing each other while original participants from 2000 were all busy catching up with each other and taking pictures. (From the left back: Hiroko Kubota, Manabu Takagishi, I'm sorry cannot remember!, Hiroko Nakamura, Shiori Kubota, Curtis Rey, and me) (Photograph by Mr. Kubota)
DAY 3: 10/3 BUSY DAY at the exhibitions
Tomioka Art Museum at Sanno, Ohta-ku, Tokyo. It was a busiest day of all! We first went to see the exhibition at Tomioka Museum. This museum used to be a residential house. The traditional Japanese architecture with a small but beautiful garden inside created authentic Japanese spaces for this exhibition. We did not know what to expect so when we took off our shoes and entered the house, its absolutely beautiful space and wonderful exhibition stunned us all. Very nice area around where condos are sold as very high price.
Inside of the Tomioka Art Museum. My piece was displayed in the glass case at the traditional Japanese room. On the right of my piece is a beautiful calligraphy piece, which was done by Hiroko Yamauchi. A small bronze piece in front of our pieces was done by Metje Butler.
Inside of the Tomioka Art Museum. This room is facing a small Japanese garden. The floor is a traditional TATAMI mat. We took our slippers off to enter this room. There are also wooden sculptures, paintings, Kimono cloths, etc displayed on other walls and on the wooden part of the floor between glass door and TATAMI mat. There are. (Photograph by Ms. Weiss)
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