June 26 - July 3, 2022
Title: Under an Unnamed Flower
Theater art, performance, music, and dance
Writing, performance, costume, design, dramaturgy, and composition by Aine E. Nakamura
Production by La Biennale di Venezia
Premiered at The Venice Biennale at The 50th International Theatre Festival
In this 40-minute site-specific performance I presented at Campo Santo Stefano in Venice, I sang, moved and spoke—as I performed as an unnamed flower; a woman who was killed across the Atlantic Ocean; a silkworm together with a parachute and together with the sounds of the loom of Venetian silk textile; my great-grandmother together with the voices of the remaining lace makers on the Burano Island, and about war as a child who would lose her mother, beg and try to sell kimono, and die in hunger; and as a storyteller of and through embodiments of these multiple, connecting an Apple and memories.
In between me, the audience and this site, there are cloths, which are islands, silk textiles, a coffin, and the blanket of a war orphan; the stones which are tombs, foods, and the Apple; the parachute, which is mulberry leaves, high-class silk products, a cloak of a king or silkworm, a forest in which families hide, and the last playground of a war orphan who is in anger and despair about adults and war; and the body part of the parachute, with which I enter and which is the dead body. The gestures of weaving and memories connect these multiple and become, in the end, flower petals, and the last breath and the first breath, for me.
In this Story, which I started weaving with my peace politics*, Peace Article 9 which relates to both of my background countries as a transnational person, into my peace Poetics instead of the politics, and with my questions* about novels "Under the Cherry Trees" and "In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom," became a place for feelings, memories in bodies, families, an apple, and listening, while I address objectification of bodies (“Orientale? Oggetti per chi? (Objects for who?)”) in Venice, which also is seen as a tourist site while there are everyday delicate stories, and the highly complex power and political structure of this world, non-political hands and us being in it. I nevertheless believe, through my performances, in mending, mourning, and sharing of the space about memories, the last and the first breath, and peace.
*For more about my peace politics and artistic questions, please see the official catalog ROT of BIENNALE TEATRO 2022.
Special thanks to the lace makers in Burano at Museo del Merletto di Burano, and the Venetian textile makers at Fondazione Rubelli and Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua, with whom I shared time through interviews, and the artistic directors of the International Theatre Festival of the Venice Biennale, Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte
July 16, 2021
Composition/performance Title: Shape
My Art of Voice and Body; performance, livestream and video work
Composition and performance by Aine E. Nakamura
Duration: 14:15 (excerpt 4:27)
Premiered at The Gallatin Galleries for my solo exhibition Circle hasu: We plant seeds in the spring of mountains (Jul 16-Aug 13 2021) The project of multiple performances was also shown at Theatertreffen at Berliener Festspiele in Germany (May 11- 15, 2022).
During my solo exhibition, which focused on recovery, healing, and a space to listen to the inner, I presented multiple performative installations in addition to my main performance on July 26. The performances were viewed from the sidewalk of Washington Pl at Broadway in New York City, and live-steamed with the support of The Gallatin Galleries, Angelina DeSocio, Karolina Ochoa-Montes, Sophia Nappa, Lewis Fender, and Zac Geinzer. The performances were documented by videographer Jeffrey Yoon and artist Ayaka Fujii, and the media was installed at the gallery during the period of the exhibition. The livestream videos can be viewed at The Gallatin Galleries website.
I presented this work on the first day of the exhibition. For the whole work, in which I say the following words at beginning, please see here.
My grandfather was moving his legs in his unconsciousness on a hospital bed a few weeks before his passing.
In my body in hospital and recovery, I saw a new-born infant. The baby was also moving the legs so gently as if the baby cuddled the air.
I practiced walking the corridor, feeling the distance between me and the trees may not be shortened easily.
May 11 - May 15, 2022
Performance Project title: Circle hasu: We plant seeds in the spring of mountains
Place: Haus der Berliner Festspiele at Theatertreffen 2022 - Stückemarkt
Main performance on May 12th at 5:30pm at Haus der Berliner Festspiele, short performances on May 11th at 8:30pm (at Vorplatz), May 12th at 8pm (at Vorplatz), and May 13th at 7pm (at Garten)
Workshop, songs in bodies, on May 14th at 12:30 and Artist talk on May 15th at 5:45pm
Performances, composition, design, dramaturgy, and production: Aine E. Nakamaura
The project was initially premiered at The Gallatin Galleries for my solo exhibition Circle hasu: We plant seeds in the spring of mountains (Jul 16-Aug 13 2021). The project had a German premiere at Theatertreffen at Berliener Festspiele in Germany in 2022.
"We experienced the performance Circle Hasu by Aine Nakamura. In “Circle Hasu We plant seeds in the spring of mountains” she impressively switches between her Japanese and American identity. In fact the cultural split of the two identities is constitutional for her minimalistic, contemplative yet intense performance on stage. It is astonishing how deep the simple lines of her storytelling took us into the alienations of an Asian woman in New York. And the elegance of her choreography up into the tips of her fingers provide a glimpse into the rich traditions of Japanese dance. Along with her short performative interventions, Aine Nakamura transformed the space in front of the Haus der Berliner Festspiele into a sacral landscape in which every detail suddenly became important and a little stone was valued equally to a vulnerable and fragile living existence." at Laudatory speech Stückemarkt by Thomas Frank, Marleen Ilg, Enrico Lübbe (Schauspiel Leipzig)
Documented by Jeffrey Yoon, Main Performance on July 26, 2021 at The Gallatin Galleries
May 11, 2022
Performance title: Stones, lotus
Performance Project title: Circle hasu: We plant seeds in the spring of mountains at Theatertreffen 2022 - Stückemarkt
Place: Vorplatz (in front of the building entrance) at Haus der Berliner Festspiele
Performance by Aine E. Nakamura
Through the performance project, the main performance on May 12th at 5:30pm at Haus der Berliner Festspiele, short performances on May 11th at 8:30pm (at Vorplatz), May 12th at 8pm (at Vorplatz), and May 13th at 7pm (at Garten), the workshop, songs in bodies, on May 14th at 12:30, and Artist talk on May 15th at 5:45pm were presented and held.
During this first outdoor performance, through which I was envisioning stories of boundaries and several unspeakable personal and global events, it started to rain. The performance became a moment to embrace and speak with the natural phenomena and elements including the rain, the wind, and the changing rainy sky, ritualistically, and I hoped for a space for emotions, bodies, feelings, and beings.