A solemn exhibition opens this Easter at the Japan Foundation Gallery. From 1 April through to 14 May, Mayu Kanamori, Wakako Asano, Vic McEwan and Satsuki Odamura team to present In Repose, a collaborative multi-disciplined art project inspired by the Japanese graves that lie in Australia.
In In Repose, photography is merged with dance, koto music, visual projection, soundscapes and installation; and together, it is an artistic homage to the deceased. It explores the migrant’s connection to their adopted land, lost memories and the relationships that have developed since. It is a tribute specifically dedicated to the Japanese immigrants who are buried away from their native homeland and the local Australian communities who are looking after their graves until this day.
In Repose is a requiem: a work of kuyo, a Japanese term, which describes an act of ceremonial prayer or offering to respect, honour and calm the spirits of the departed. Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPVl4QvSwXY for a preview of what’s in store.
Dancer, Wakako states, “Feeling the earth and grass beneath my feet, thinking of the people in repose, I danced. It was then my life became the soul, the earth, and the wind. As I became one with nature, I found the beauty of returning to nature. There was no longer a border, and just felt gratitude towards the people of this land.”
“Everything returns to earth and it was good to share art and ceremony with local communities. I think we brought back from our journey a deeper understanding: that the ground in which we walk and build our homes upon, and the sea and rivers which connect our lands are all made up of many ancestors… we all live on a sacred site,” explains Mayu.
The In Repose initiative began in 2006 with some of the artists travelling to remote locations around Australia such as Townsville, Broome and Thursday Island, creating site-specific art to Japanese graveyards.
In Repose reveals a rare insight into the thoughts of a Japanese-Australian through time and art. In Repose introduces viewers to a realm of sacredness and spirituality, allowing space for pensive reflection to an indifferent generation.
With original compositions by Mark Isaacs (Chinkon for bass koto), Michael Whiticker (Haiku for bass koto, In Repose for koto) and Rosalind Page (Garden for koto) as commissioned by Satsuki specifically for In Repose.