Walk - Japan
A 3-month artist residency and travel fellowship to Japan provided through the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the work
Walk - Japan is a continuation of the themes that I was working on in 2016’s Walk.
I spent my residency in the Tokyo area, particularly Asagaya in Suginami Ward and Ueno Onshi Park in Taito Ward. I stayed on one area mostly so that I could get to know one area of community and meet several people within that area.
I spent my time training my body and mind through presence exercises that I developed during my residency and researched an inner performance practice in relationship to community and atmospheres of social spiritual and urban circumstances, culminating in a three-month-long movement essay in private and public areas.
I did a movement practice/performance every day in public sites such as parks, streets, stores and restaurants. I observed others’ behavior such as walking and talking and then integrated it into my daily practice. The architecture of a mass of people walking forward in contexts of travel, leisure and business inspired choreography and movement practice.
Much of the time was a very still performance that focused on intention of movement from inside to the outside, relating myself to the surroundings (people, architecture). Long periods of stillness resulted in an inner study of sincerity of movement, speech and action towards intention of peaceful relationships among people I engaged. I was inspired by several street performers I observed, who would position themselves in a certain state of being very still for long periods of time and, then, would switch positions. I also observed the people watching the performance and the interaction among the performer(s) and the audience spectator(s).
I also studied the sounds/tones of the Japanese language and the presentation and intention of the language. I paid particular attention to the body language and song/tone in anticipation of a sound score based on the healing vibrations/frequencies of the Japanese language.
In the end, this work, as in Walk 2016, continues to look at human development from a personal artistic point of view. This is the more pondering question that I gave to myself for this project, sincerity of movement and sincerity of intention in art and in life.