Welp. It’s been a roller coaster of a production period here in my first month at Studio Kura. I learned that once I harvest the bamboo and cut it that it has to soak for 5 days before I work on it. I thought, “Ya know… I can go explore the town and stuff!” So I did. Then after 5 days I cranked. But it didn’t look like I was cranking so I’ve felt unsettled this whole time.
There’s a famous set of red torii gates in Kyoto at the Fushimi Inari Shrine. I don’t think I’m going to make it to Kyoto this trip but I do have my own little Shinto shrine to go to here in Itoshima, Fukuoka. It’s right behind the residency and its called Matsusue Tenmangu! Here are the pics I took from the walk at 7am one morning.
Ok. I’m… actually trying to rein in the sweets now. Trying and failing. I tell myself that I can only have one sweet per day and somehow I keep breaking my rule. My newly acquired dancer body is taking a hit, even with the dancing and all the walking and bike riding I do around here. I’m about to add a daily walk up a mountain shrine path to try to help with my expanding waistline. I knew this would happen. I just wish I could just enjoy it without feeling guilty! Please tell me these sweets posts are worth it!
My trip to Marugame was exciting to say the least. I’ve been anxious to go here for months, ever since I discovered the place on google maps after doing some deep research. The art residency I will be attending, Studio Kura, was chosen for its proximity to Marugame even though it’s still a good 4 to 5 hours away by public transit. Because of my trajectory from Tokyo I was able to make it there for one day. The trip to Marugame almost didn’t happen due to the language barrier but luckily, since I sent a follow up email, the uchiwa museum asked for help translating it from an employee at the international relations department of city hall!
I’m dealing with that jet lag thing again. Keep waking up at about 3am. Last night I faded fast at 9pm, sitting among friends after an insane meal and a single glass of wine. As I begin to compose this post, I am in the middle of my one night stay in Onishi which, due to some tight planning on my part, is very unfortunate and far too short. I’m glancing out of the window in my room at Horiguchi-san’s ryokan. Fresh cool air touches my face and the songbirds and frogs are competing with each other for my attention. An old man passes in front of me, crossing a bridge on his 4:30 am walk. I am overtaken with an insane amount of gratitude and feeling great to be alive today, here, in this tiny town with these incredible people. I don’t want to say that Onishi isn’t remarkable because that feels wrong. It has so many interesting things to offer and places to see like the soy factory, the residency, the flea market, and the special little cracker shop. But is it a destination city for people to come and escape? Not really – there are probably better places for that. This could be Tinytownjapan anywhere but it’s the people here that make it so special.
I said I’d do it, and I’m doing it. Two years ago I took my first trip to Japan. If you’ve been within earshot of me between then and now then you know that Japan ruined everything for me. The experience there was so great that every other country I have been to has paled in comparison. I’ve never felt so safe, appreciated, respected, and awestruck than I have in Japan. I’ve made it to my hotel after a 28 hour travel day. Wanna hear how that went? It went fine! Mostly. First, this didn’t feel like a normal international trip. A normal international trip prep includes but is not limited to; extra restless sleep, general crankiness at home, staring off into the distance after short circuiting about how much there is to do before I leave, not leaving the house for several days so that I can get some good quality worrying in there (I at least get to pet the cats), tears, etc. Oh yes, it’s a carnival at the Rischards household.
It’s my annual trip to The World Makerfaire in New York and I have several things to write about. Since the Faire is located at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows (you know… the place where the climactic alien spaceship scene in Men in Black was filmed) I stay in Flushing. Flushing is heavily populated by several Asian cultures which makes me a happy, happy girl. I have covered all the major food groups: The bubble tea group, ramen group, sushi group, and dim sum group.
Welp. I feel great. It only took a full day of rest after a full day of art show install at Estudio Nomada! The night before the show, knowing that one piece alone would put 100 holes in the wall, I had hours of anxiety filled dreams. In one I couldn’t breathe and in another I had aged considerably and had grass growing out of my scalp.
Preparations for Holy Week (known here as Semana Santa), the week before Easter, begin many weeks before the event. Signs go up in the streets and alleys in which the processions shuffle along and I’ve been warned quite a bit about how crazy and packed it gets. For example, in this most Holy of weeks, people furiously pick pocket and grope women. Who do these cretins think they are? The president of the United States? I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the death and rebirth of Jesus, can you?
My work took an unexpected turn here in Barcelona and you know what? I am totally ok with that. It’s kind of exciting, really. All the work I had planned to do I finished in Seville! That left me with no plan for my two month residency in Torelles de Foix. I bought some more material to make a few more of those head cover things and I knocked one out pretty quick and started on another.
This is the residency in “Barcelona” where I currently reside. It’s called Mas els Igols which means, “swamp farm.” There’s no swamp to be seen, but it is most certainly a farm… of grapes… and wine. It’s a vineyard!
Had a great show in Seville. It was quick and dirty! I only had three weeks in the AIRgentum Residency but I came prepared with the work I wanted to make. Martina pulled several strings to make the show happen and my lovely residency mates helped me install the show with literally only 45 minutes. It was intimate with 18 locals attending including my sweet friend that I met at the residency in Japan, Raquel. The gallery attenders had lovely questions and comments, and in the end, I feel very thankful for the experience.