This online project is jointly organized by BIPAM and Tokyo Festival, under the Tokyo Festival Farm – “Lab” which is a platform for process-oriented collaborative research and development conducted with other people of different origins, values, and specialties as a step towards interdisciplinary and interregional professional activities. This year’s The City & The City announced an open call for participants in both Tokyo and Bangkok to exchange their research, rediscovering the city and sowing the seeds of future output. The project explores the theme of “Mapping from Home”. Leaving your home and broadening your horizons to take in the street, area, and city, how does your own identity connect to geographical and societal contexts? The process and results of investigating this question will be presented as an exhibition publicly in a gallery site in Tokyo and on a website platform.
The City & The City 2021: Mapping from Home (TCTC) is a program that aims to give significance to the artistic research process, which has been an ongoing project in collaboration with Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (BIPAM) since last year. For this year’s edition, TCTC selected 3 artists/ researchers from each city; Bangkok and Tokyo. This marks the first year where TCTC is a part of Tokyo Festival Farm; Tokyo Festival’s new platform to incubate future emerging artists.
The six participants have been working on their artistic research for the whole summer based on diverse interests and expertise, while centering the base at their homes. The pandemic has stuck with us globally for one year and a half now, and we still don’t see when it’s going to end. As of now, regulations and protocols in Bangkok are more strict than those of Tokyo’s, resulting in BIPAM’s decision to organize an entirely online exhibition for the Bangkok event instead of exhibitions in physical spaces of Bangkok and Tokyo respectively as the original plan. However, since Tokyo can still host an on-site exhibition, excerpts of the Bangkok creation will also be exhibited in a gallery in Tokyo. The full version of Bangkok’s creation is located on this website.
Since our lockdowns, even though we are living under numerous limitations, there’s still birth, growth, and death of life. Objects and humans continue to change – the city never stops. Please enjoy viewing the research outcome through the perspectives of these 6 artists.
Kaku Nagashima (Tokyo Festival Farm)
Co-Director/ mentor of The City and The City
Restriction of free mobility that came to us because of the global pandemic was the origin of this year’s theme – Mapping from Home. We embarked on the online exchange program uncertain and reserved, but each artist’s individual research eventually expanded far both horizontally and vertically. You are now presented with research fruits as diverse in color, taste, and nutrition, as those in a fresh fruit basket.
It is thus a delight to discover that the shrinking of our social activity beyond our individual personal lives doesn’t necessarily mean dimmed curiosity, disinterest in research, or mediocre artistic creation, as manifested here in this exhibition.
The inexorable urge of human beings to find connection around ourselves despite imposed limitations have led the six artists in this exchange program to very diverse findings. When ‘normal’ human interactions are discouraged or made inaccessible, some artists have materialized their deep journey within themselves as a way to reconsider and rediscover their connection with their close ones. We see ‘Fully’ reenact and expand her family’s relationship traffic with strangers in the online world; ‘Nam-Oon’ navigates deep conflict at its root by taking a digital record of her urban homebound pilgrimage; and ‘Sako’ defamiliarizes the all-too-familiar daily activities at home and in the neighborhood.
On the other hand, restricted human interactions have prompted other artists to look outward for inspiration and as a way out of physical and mental confinement. ‘Film’ captures his yearning for impossible connections through moving images of objects in minute detail that he observes from having to stay in one place; ‘Lily’ places her fascination of life not on humans but on the neighborhood vegetation; and ‘Lana’ has allowed her pet dog Pepper to be the master of direction in order to guide herself out of her own presumptions.
Unlike Divided Senses in 2020, The City & The City 2021: Mapping from Home does not repaint new pictures of what Bangkok or Tokyo is for us. Instead, it is an invitation to take a deep journey and confront one’s own individual self at the time when isolation is more obligatory than optional no matter which city you are in. Physical and geographical limits give way to elusive terrains of the inner world with countless possibilities through imagination – something we humans have had and still have in common, and something that reminds us of who we are far better than any imagined national and social border can.
Sasapin Siriwanij (BIPAM)
Co-Director/ mentor of The City and The City
BIPAM (Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting) is an international platform for people involved in the creation of performing arts. The platform aims to propose Bangkok and its dynamic performing arts scene as a platform for regional and international exchange and meeting with its annual five-day gathering event since 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. BIPAM has also expanded its activities in local and international performing arts management beyond the annual event in order to sustain and strengthen Thailand’s performing arts ecosystem.
About Tokyo Festival Farm
Tokyo Festival Farm is a new framework that brings together all development initiatives within Tokyo Festival, a festival for performing arts. It was created by combining Asian Performing Arts Farm (APAF), a platform promoting exchange and growth among young artists in Asia, with Festival/Tokyo (F/T)’s Research Program and Education & Outreach Program. There are three categories: “School,” a place to meet and learn, “Internship,” an on-site training opportunity, and “Lab,” for exploring research and development. By having this range of programs based around open calls and developing a collaborative interdisciplinary and interregional approach, Tokyo Festival Farm aims to foster professionals capable of free movement across all kinds of borders, which will become increasingly fluid in the future.
Directors & Mentors: Kaku Nagashima (Tokyo Festival), Sasapin (Pupe) Siriwanij (BIPAM)
[Team Tokyo] Lana Tran, LILY SHU, Tatsuki Sako
[Team Bangkok] Achitaphon (Film) Piansukprasert, Thipsuda (Fully) Raimaturapong, Pitchapa (Nam-Oon) Wangprasertkul
Siree (Wan) Riewpaiboon, Varissara (Jar) Borkird (BIPAM)
Coordinator (Bangkok) & Translator:
Piyawan (Ning) Sapsamroum
Aki Miyatake, Mei Miyauchi, Chihiro Suzuki (Tokyo Festival)
Publicity Design: Rueangrith Suntisuk (DuckUnit)
Partner: Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (Bipam)
Organized by Tokyo Festival Executive Committee [Toshima City, Toshima Mirai Cultural Foundation, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture (Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre & Arts Council Tokyo)]
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal 2021