"PARK CITY" Hiroshima portrayed in words and photographs remote seats equipped with individual video screens
This stage production is the result of a collaboration between Masataka Matsuda, a leading Japanese playwright/director since the 1990s who has received numerous awards for his experimental work exploring the possibilities of stage arts with the theatre company Marebito-no-Kai, and Keiko Sasaoka, a young photographer regarded for her perceptive approach capturing scenes of the city.
Based on the key aspects of "time" and "distance" in the latent memories of Hiroshima as it was re-erected around a "monumental" park after the war, the artists introduce an innovative viewing style utilizing the special features of YCAM's characteristic media technology in stage and audience settings alike.
Matsuda and Sasaoka are taking media-based expression in performing arts to a new level in order to create a novel form of theatre with text, photography, sound and imagery transcending the boundaries of time and space.
PARK CITY (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)
Visualizing the hidden voices and memories of a city on the example of Hiroshima and the monument that forms the redeveloped town's centerpiece
Based on a series of pictures of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park by Hiroshima-born photographer Keiko Sasaoka, this theatre play illustrates the latent memories and voices of a city on the concrete example of Hiroshima as it was re-erected after the war around a monument in the form of a park. In the creation process, Sasaoka and Masataka Matsuda both visited Hiroshima, and scooped up the "voices" hidden in the city that has been depicted countless times in the course of history, while repeatedly exchanging texts and photographs according to their concept. The script and story line that emerged out of this procedure set up a multilayered, intricately tangled past/present timeline while accentuating the notion of "acting (live) in the present" in performing arts, and the function of photography as a medium for recording/reproduction.
Only the venue's third floor seats are available for viewing this piece, as it was conceived to be experienced in a unique style looking down upon the stage. Different from plays that attempt to connect the viewer to the extraordinary theatre world, here the audience is made perfectly aware of the distance and disconnectedness. In addition, all seats are equipped with individual video screens showing prerecorded footage and real-time images recorded by cameras directed toward the stage.
This setup juxtaposing the physical distance between stage and audience, the indirect sense of distance brought about by media technology, and the distance between past and present as represented by photography and stage art respectively, redefines the experience of watching a play.
- Tour Information
- Written and directed by: Masataka Matsuda
Photography by: Keiko Sasaoka (photographers' gallery)
Cast: Chise Ushio, F. Japan, Chiaki Kirisawa, Goma-no-hae, Takashi Shima, Aki Takeda, Maki Nishiyama, Yuichiro Masuya, Norifumi Miyamoto, Harumi Yamaguchi
Recording: Masamitsu Araki
Costume Design: Kyoko Domoto
Dramaturg: Tsuyoshi Tanabe
Assistant director: Yuriko Maiya
Production support: Akihito Yasumi
Lecture "A playwright/director shares his thoughts: Where do the voices come from?"
Playwright/director Masataka Matsuda gave a lecture prior to his residency at YCAM. While shedding light on his company Marebito-no-Kai's unique theatrical approach as to "whom the voices and vocabularies of actors belong to," and "how they are expressed on stage," Matsuda talked about the background and appeal of his newest creation unveiled at YCAM.
Keiko Sasaoka "PARK CITY" Photo Exhibition
Keiko Sasaoka presented a selection of her "Park City" photographs used in the play of the same title, exhibited in a different setting and atmosphere from the stage performance.
- August 1 - 31, 2009
- Gallery second floor
- "H story" (2001 / Director: Nobuhiro Suwa / 111min / Japan)
- "HIROSHIMA, MON AMOUR" (1959 / Director: Alain Resnais / 91min / France and Japan)
- "Utsukushii natsu kirishima" (2002 / Director: Kazuo Kuroki / 118min / Japan)
- "самосел" (2006 / 45 min / Japan / TNC）
- August 7 - 9, 2009
- Studio C
Participants in this "backstage tour" introducing the creation process of a new original piece witnessed the work of the YCAM staff and artists involved, while at once learning about the theatre's mechanisms, and the system employed for this particular production.
- August 16, 23, 2009
- Studio A
- Navigator: Masataka Matsuda
Facilitator: YCAM educational staff
- Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
- Biwako Hall Foundation
- photographers' gallery
In association with:
- Yamaguchi City
- Yamaguchi City Board of Education
The Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2009
- Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities (JAFRA)
- The Asahi Beer Arts Foundation
- The SAISON Foundation
Kyoto Art Center support project
- Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM], Biwako Hall, Marebito-no-Kai, photographers' gallery