My interdisciplinary practice is a collaboration with a contemporary dancer Natsuko Tezuka. The reason that I wanted to work with her is I has been intetested in her works since I saw her performance in Berlin. As well as my intrests towards cross-boundary collaboration. I have an ongoing projects with improvised musicians for few years, to think about a relationship between music and visual in a live set. It challenges me to think about painting with multiple directions. In addition, I can learn different perception and focus point from them. I believe that she will give me the unexpected I can’t find on my own.
She has been working as a performer, dancer and choreographer for over 20years. She participated in ‘Kyoto Experiment’ Kyoto International Prrforming Arts 2018 with her collaborarion work with Sri Lanka artist Venuri Perera and South Korean artist Yeong Ran Suh.(South Korea and last her project is ‘Floating Bottle’.
Natsuko Tezuka is a dancer and choreographer born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. She shifted from mime to dance from 1996 and has continued her practice through a style of trial and error not based on preexisting techniques. In 2001, she started her Anatomic Experiment series in which she scrutinizes her own body. That same year she was a finalist for the Toyota Choreography Award with Anatomic Experiment—2. She then toured to New York, Berlin, Jakarta, and Rio de Janeiro, interacting with local artists and performing her work. She has continued experimenting and examining westernization from multiple perspectives, starting the Asia Interactive Research project in 2010 to observe folk performing arts and question the framework of the nation, and launching with ST Spot a folk performance survey club. In 2015, she staged Some Experiments in a Decade and a Half in Fukuoka, followed by at Singapore International Festival of Arts and then at the Our Masters—Tatsumi Hjikata season in 2016 at the Asian Arts Theatre in Gwangju, South Korea. Along with the Sri Lankan artist Venuri Perera and South Korean artist Yeong Ran Suh, she launched Floating Bottle, a new group that explores what westernization means for Asia. Its first performance was at ST Spot in Yokohama in 2017. Since 2018, she has added Berlin as a further base for her activities and is developing a new kind of nomadic practice.
I asked her about a collaboration, then I knew she is in interested in making “painting” which she thinks it is possibly transformed from her performance process. I didn’t know her ‘process’ but I wanted to know her secret of process so I said “Can we do the project together?” She said “Yes, that’s exciting!” Her performance is improvised, subconscious and automatism. She uses trigger to make her body moves which is her “dance”. We were not sure we can do or we will do, but we started this project. We don’t mind whether we will make it or not, or will take few years.
I flew to Berlin with three brushes and ink and Winsor and Newton’s travel watercolur set. Now I avoid flying with Ryanair(chepest but they are racist!) so I flew with Easy jet.
We planed to have a conversation before this actual meeting, but we didn’t start. We both thought we need to meet in person firstly. I went to her home where I used to live before. Little bit nostalgia but 3 years of Berlin time was not easy for me so I felt happy that I don’t live here anymore, I am just visiting.
She, her roommate and her son were there. We had beer in a balkony and snack, weather was really good. Beer is pretty good in Germany, they are so cheap. She talkes about her own workshop related to drawing.
1. Make a painting with a small group. Make a small group. The first player draw the first thing on the given material(paper, canvas, or wood etc,.), and give to the second player who adds another object. It will be continued on until the goup decide to finish.
2. Make a painting with a small group. Make a small group. The first player draw the first thing on the given material(paper, canvas, or wood ect,.) The second player destroy the drawn image by the first players. It will be continued untill the group decide to finish.
When I heard her workshops, Surrealism came up with my mind first.
Subconscious (in technical use, Unconscious) In popular writing about psychology, the division of the mind containing the sum of all thoughts, memories, impulses, desires, feelings, etc., that are not subject to a person’s perception or control but that often affect conscious thoughts and behavior (noun). The Surrealists derived much inspiration from psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s theories on dreams and the workings of the subconscious mind. (MoMA, https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/themes/surrealism/tapping-the-subconscious-automatism-and-dreams/)
After the conversation, we did casual workshops between us privately at her place.
1. Revisual everyday with mental eyes and eyes Make a pair into a reader and a drawer. Use a pen and one piece of paper. Reader reads an imaginary everyday situation (place, objects, situation, time and emotional feeling) to the drawer. Drawer imagine the scene and transfer the image onto the paper.
Ex. You are in a bright room. There is a window. You can see a restaurant over the road via the window. You went the restaurant before but it was not your taste.
2. Revisual everyday without using eyes Make a pair into a reader and a drawer. Drawer closes her/his eyes. Use a pen and one piece of paper. Reader reads an imaginary everyday situation (place, objects, situation, time and emotional feeling) to the drawer. Drawer imagine the scene and transfer the image onto the paper.
(‘Rainbow ball in the fifth floor in the office building.Meeting will happen in ten mins, 30people are coming’ Pen and paper by Natsuko)
(I see through outside via a hole in an abondoned box in an industrisl area.Thebox is on the table by Mio)
(‘An apple I bought is rotten.When I ate, I realized’, pen and paper, by Natsuko)
(‘Looking through window. There is a restaurant opposite side of the street’, pen and paper, by Mio)
Controll or. Uncontrollable.
I came back to my friend’s apartment, he kindly let me use his room while he is away. I like this apartment, high ceilings, small cozy corner at the kitchen with light.
8th May I woke up at 13:00 when we are supposed to meet a rehearsal room. I stayed at airport over night the day before and I didn’t get any sleep there so I must have been so tired. I jumped off the bed and left the apartment in 5 mis.
She doesn’t have a smartphone. We contact via Messanger, there is no way to tell her about I’m late. I am horrible. I arrived at the nearest station. I went to a different building which is a local high school, lots of teenager looked at me, of course. She was sitting at a cafe. I apologized her, we start the day.
She gave a workshop ‘Baby Dance’ at Theater Mitte where has a free dance reharsal room for everybody without any charge. We possibly had another stranger for use the space, but nonody came to use the room.
- Lying on a floore and keep yawning.
- Crawling around a room and keep yawning.
- Make a pair. One pushes against the player’s head who is crawling.
she explained when we are pushed our head, we want to push the hand back. This is physiology phenomenon. This workshop purpose is to observe our body’s function.
I didnt feel anything coming out from my body at first, I thought it is because I am too much self-conscious, I sometimes can’t open my mind and body in public. She changed her hand on different side of my head. Then I felt I am like a boar(I have never seen them in wild life). I was not sure this occured from me or I tried to feel that way for Natsuko.
9th May I lost what I can do today. I went to her place and I said I pretty lost what we can do. I look outside with a certain way of looking, you look inside with a ceratin way of observing. There must be a way, I am feeling we can do, but at this moment I need to research more in this field and myself. She said I think we can start approaching from our own side into others. There is a point we meet again, and the point should be the starting point to develop the idea we found.
I was not aware of how I choose the subject of matter, type of colour and shape. How I react from the outside. This collaboration would work that we find the process.
We went to my most favorite park (maybe in the world so far)Tempelhof Airport park with her and her son.
Tempelhof was the one of the first airports in Berlin.They closed thier all operation in 2008, now they open as a recreational space. People doing kite, rollerscating, BBQ, music, readins books. What I like about Berlin is everybody seem poor(!) This airport was used as a hub of bringing supplies to circumvent the Russian blockade for West Berlin citezens.
I asked her if we can draw a line in here. Can you imagine? She said, maybe I can. Space is the most familiar term within painting.
We might not make a painting (by her, maybe I will do) at this point. What I strongly to feel is that the key is in psycology field which I haven’t researched yet. How I choose the image, what disicion making occures inside me.. To know this process is a key to develop this collaboration.