• Ideas
  • Oct 16, 2019

Art Project Kobe 2019: “TRANS-”

In Kobe Central Wholesale Market, one of the oldest Japanese markets where fresh food is unloaded directly from ships, MIWA YANAGI turned a 50-meter-long iron platform into a stage. Adapted from Kenji Nakagami’s novel The Wings of The Sun (1984), Yanagi’s performance incorporated a Buddhist dance ritual with a narrative surrounding pilgrimage and a quest for truth. All images by Pamela Wong for ArtAsiaPacific unless otherwise stated.

As one of the earliest hubs first for foreign trade and subsequently for industrialization in Japan, Kobe has long been considered a highly developed cosmopolitan city. Over the past few decades, however, the decline of heavy industries as well as the devastating 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake have resulted in losses to both the city’s population and vitality. Art Project Kobe 2019, titled “TRANS-” and curated by Sumi Hayashi, asked German artist Gregor Schneider and Kobe-born photographer and stage director Miwa Yanagi to engage with and reinterpret the city’s rich history through a series of site-specific interventions.