The TERATOTERA art project, which presents art events along the JR Chuo line, will hold “TERATOTERA Festival 2020 – Collective: Next-generation symbiosis” online over four days between October 15 and 18. The live-streamed festival will offer artworks, performance, theater and more by six artist collectives from Southeast Asia and Japan.
The annual TERATOTERA Festival, which began in 2011, is a large-scale, area-wide art event packed with art exhibitions, live concerts, performances and more. Due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to hold the entire festival program online so that you can experience the pieces in your home. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the festival will present works from Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia in Southeast Asia, and from Sapporo, Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan under the theme “Collective: Next-generation symbiosis.”
Ahead of the festival we will also livestream footage from a series of discussions about each collective, and progress in the creation of their artworks. Be sure not to miss these livestreams on the situation for these collectives in Southeast Asia and across Japan under the influence of the global coronavirus pandemic, and on the artworks generated in the face of current conditions.
The TERATOTERA Festival, which started in 2011, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The principle theme for the first event was “post.” With the prefix “post” meaning “since/after” or “following” something, organizers of course had in mind the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant which happened in March the same year. The idea was to question what manner of artistic expression was possible in the world after those events. A long time has passed since then, but my feeling is that we continue to live in the “post” era.
Populism has swept the globe, globalization continues to create a gap between rich and poor, and we are not even close to resolving issues surrounding immigration and refugees. A man they said could never be president has become just that, and this major power is retreating from its role as world policeman. Another global player is continuing to expand its centralized authority on the back of its huge economic power. If we look at own country, we are far from having control over issues such as radiation in Fukushima, the US military bases in Okinawa, historical issues with neighboring countries and acute poverty.
Division, disparity and isolation are probably the best words to describe the “post” era. Wealth and power are concentrated among a certain group, leading to social division and continued isolation for people. It is a world with an unseeable future and darkness ahead, but this is a fact, so there is nothing we can do about it. There is a feeling of powerlessness and inability to think in the face of inexorable reality.
But are we really going to accept this? Do the questions raised previously end with “resignation” as the answer? This simply can’t be. So what exactly are the divisions, inequalities and isolation, and what can we do to fight them?
To guide us to an answer, the concept for the TERATOTERA Festival this time around is “Collective: Next-generation symbiosis.” We invited art collectives active at home and oversees to participate, and by collective we mean multiple artists regularly working together on creative activities. These collectives share and exchange ideas, things and time, gathering to engage in a form of expression they believe in and living together, in symbiosis. I can’t help thinking that there are many things we could learn from the daily lives and work of these artists to help us overcome the various difficulties facing us today.
If you think about it, engaging in creative activities in collaboration is much more of a headache than working alone. This is because you need to understand the other people involved and make changes within yourself as you come up against different ways of thinking and intention. But in fact, I sense the future in precisely such a tedious process. Accepting others, changing oneself, creating something together. If it all falls hopelessly apart, you just begin with a gathering of individuals again (at the risk of making it sound overly simple).
Bringing dialogue to division, sharing to disparity, connection to isolation. The wide variety of work by the collectives gathering for TERATOTERA Festival 2020 will surely point the way towards the next era of this bleak world we live in, beyond “post.” We can take the next step, with other people right alongside us.
Nozomu Ogawa (Director of TERATOTERA)
Artist collectives from each region taking part in “TERATOTERA Festival 2020 – Collective: Next-generation symbiosis”join Nozomu Ogawa (Director of TERATOTERA) and TERATOTERA Office staff for discussions on progress in the creation of their artworks. Footage from the discussions will be streamed on TERATOTERA’s YouTube channel.
*Streams will comprise video recordings of scenes from the online discussions.
Scheduled streaming dates
Friday, August 28 Chiang Mai Art Conversation (Thailand)
Friday, September 4 Sa Sa Art Projects (Cambodia)
Friday, September 11 Ongoing Collective (Japan)
Friday, September 18 Ruang MES56 (Indonesia)
Friday, September 25 hyslom (Japan)
Friday, October 2 Sapporo Dance Collective (Japan)
The TERATOTERA YouTube channel can be found here.
Chiang Mai Art Conversation (CAC): Thailand
Ongoing Collective: Japan
Ruang MES56: Indonesia
Sa Sa Art Projects: Cambodia
Sapporo Dance Collective (SDC): Japan
Free (charges may apply for live performances, etc.)
*Program details to be announced in due course.
Saturday, May 2 – Sunday, May 10 2020, 11:00 – 18:00 *Closed on May 7 and 8
Thursday, October 15 – Sunday, October 18 2020
Vacant premises and parks around Musashikoganei Station to Kichijoji Station
*Livestreaming URL and detailed schedule will be announced later on the website.