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Japan supernatural public programs announced

Artist Fuyoko Matsui pictured in the exhibition Japan supernatural with her work Regeneration of a breached thought 2012.
Artist Fuyoko Matsui pictured in the exhibition Japan supernatural with her work Regeneration of a breached thought 2012.

Step into the realm of the supernatural at the Art Gallery of New South Wales this summer with an otherworldly offering of artist talks, live music, physical theatre, workshops and more in association with the major exhibition Japan supernatural.

Japanese artists across the centuries have created a lively parade of magical animals, fiendish imps, legendary monsters and ethereal spirits. Featuring over 180 wildly imaginative works by some of the greatest Japanese artists of the past and present, the Art Gallery of NSW exhibition Japan supernatural is part of the 2019–20 Sydney International Art Series.

The exhibition public programs begin tomorrow (November 2 2019) with the lecture series, Phenomenal beings: spirits in Japanese art and culture from 2pm – 4pm, in partnership with the Japan Foundation, Sydney.

On Wednesday 6 November (2019) a special edition of Art Art Hours commences at 6.30pm with the spellbinding contemporary artist Fuyoko Matsui in conversation with Yumi Stynes. Japan’s evergreen sugar-coated punk powerpopsters, Shonen Knife will then take to the stage at 7.30pm to chat with Stynes followed by a free performance at 8.30pm. Heavily influenced by 1960s girl groups, The Beach Boys and the Ramones, the musical trio crafts stripped-down songs with simple, yet unconventional lyrics sung both in Japanese and English.

On Wednesday 27 November (2019) the supernatural will rise again for Art After Hours with Retro horror radio and a free performance by the award-winning, virtuoso master of Japanese shamisen, Noriko Tadano. Co-produced with the Japan Foundation, Sydney, Retro horror radio is an opportunity to be immersed in the strange world of folklore and old-school horror featuring live readings of uncanny Japanese tales with acoustic music and sound accompaniment.

For those wanting to venture deeper into the spirit world of the supernatural, the Gallery is partnering with the National Art School to present a summer school dedicated to the three centuries of Japanese art on display in the exhibition.

A range of access programs associated with Japan supernatural include workshops for adults and children, an art and dementia program and audio description and Auslan tours of the exhibition.

In January (2020) the Gallery presents Night parade of one hundred goblins as part of Sydney Festival, in collaboration with Clockfire Theatre Company. In Japanese folklore, twilight is the time when the supernatural world awakens, everyday objects become enchanted and shapeshifters and trickster spirits take to the streets. Sydney’s absurdist innovators Clockfire Theatre Company unlock the ghostly realm that lurks alongside our own in this highly physical theatre experience.

The principal patron and public program patron for Japan supernatural is Gandel Philanthropy.

Source: Art Gallery of New South Wales

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