Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rain, Forest: Laboratory of the Forest 2015 横浜の森美術展

Hi there! A bit late weekly posting for Adventure this time. I report you this year’s annual exhibition, “Art Exhibition in the Forest of Yokohama 横浜の森美術展” by Laboratory of the Forest 森ラボ, August 30 - September 23, 2015. The event is organized by GROUP the Creation and Voice of the Woods 創造と森の声. (Phone/FAX: 045-933-1460, Mobile: 090-1777-5881, Email: Membership fee: 1,000 yen. Their Facebook is here.) GROUP was active since 1997, and this is their 19th annual art exhibition within the forest. The exhibition titled Art Exhibition in the Forest of Yokohama is its 8th this year, with the theme “Shinso Kaiten 森創開展.” As a related event, during August 23 - September 13 there will be an exhibition for the concept of the event, “Woods-ArtLand-Town,” in the concourse of Nakayama Station of Yokohama CitySubway. From August 23, a weekend event is going on just beyond the exhibition entrance to create an installation with flags by anybody who bother to go there. (10:00-14:00, free.)  Today, 30 August 2015, an opening party was held, where artists presented their installations by themselves, and later open-air concerts. The photos and video of today’s party would be uploaded at the Facebook page of GROUP, eventually (they say). So let’s just keep crossing our fingers …

The easiest access to the exhibition is to ride a bus either from JR Nakayama 中山 station or Sotetsu Tsurugamine 鶴ヶ峰 Station. There are the routes Asahi 11, 13, 14, and 15 all of which connect two stations. (From Nakayama, the time tables are here and here. From Tsurugamine, the tables are here.)  If you take a bus from Nakayama, get off the bus at Kohdan-Shukaijoh-mae 公団集会場前. If you turn right from the bus stop, beyond the traffic light, you’ll find a building looks like an old school. It is now-closed Hikarigaoka Elementary School ひかりが丘小学校 (as this Hikarigaoka Housing Complex becomes the town of elderly people with very few kids). If you ride the bus from Tsurugamine for Nishi-Hikarigaoka 西ひかりが丘, it actually takes you in front of this building at the bus stop, called Nishi-Hikarigaoka, the final stop.

Kohdan-Shukaijoh-mae stop
if you take a bus from Nakayama
Nishi-Hikarigaoka stop
if you take a bus from Tsurugamine
Former Hikarigaoka Elementary School
seen from the direction of the Exhibition

First, you walk to the gate of Hikarigaoka Elementary. On the left, there is the South Gate of Kanagawa University High School 神奈川大学付属中高 (with a forest through which, of course, we cannot trespass). Walk toward this direction for 30 m or so, we meet a T-crossing. Turn left and proceed, then there comes a sign with yellow arrow, saying “this way to 2015 Laboratory of the Forest.” The arrows appear along the way, so simply follow their direction. Eventually, you enter a small, paved and climbing-up road between the forest on the right and a retirement housing complex, Care Home Yokohama and VillaYokohama, on the left. Almost at the top of the hill, there is a downing slope on the left between the Care Home and Villa, and on the right, we can see the Banner, proclaiming “ GROUP the Creation and Voice of the Woods 創造と森の声.” Keep on going 10 m or so along the forest, and on the right we see the entrance for this year’s exhibition. There is a small desk at the entrance with a guest book and a map of the forest for the exhibition.

The road goes like this.
The entrance to the exhibition
This year’s exhibition map
An installation moved from the previous site
is now for serving water. Ha ha

The first act of today’s concert was by Sushi-oke Drum Fuching すし桶ドラムふーちん, a cute drumming gal with a TWIST. (She plays drums for acoustic musical unit Libera Cielo.) Almost all of her “percussions” made of tools for daily lives, such as camping cups and a sushi bowl. She plays them with at most dexterity. Hers was a fun! (TEQUILA!) She said when her stomach is empty, she’s playing in Ueno Park of Tokyo, so if we are lucky (and she is unlucky), we can see her again there. Her next “official” gig will be in Ebina next month. Here is the link of her blog and tweets.

Fuching in the forest

Next, we had an organic acoustic trio SORA. (Their official web site, here.) Their guitar, African drum, and a vocal echoed so pure, and became a part of the misty forest. Their repertory included original composition, and songs with verses translated from Nepali and Swahili. I loved that Nepali song of beautiful sonnets and somehow nostalgic melody. They’ll play Yume Kannon Asia Festival in Ofna next month.


The closing of today’s concert was by Naoyuki Tsuchiya 土屋直之. (His web site, here.) He was a master of delighting the audience with his warm voice and a guitar that became an orchestra with the chorus of cicadas in the forest. It is funnily soothing. Today he played originals and his take of Jackson Brown. The final song was collaboration of him and SORA. A relaxing finale.

Naoyuki and SORA
The concert was held just in front of the installation of flags, “Flag Tree.” From this point, following the yellow arrows as we’ve done to come here, we can see the installations of this year.

Venus, Kiyotaka Tanaka
11 Weight
Youichiro Yoshikawa
Bath house with
sunlight filtering through trees,
Yokohama Branch,
Open for Business,
Today ThanQRU,
Connecting Ties, Yoko Koga
We move into our sweet home in the forest!
Noriaki Oka
Flower Hairpin
Yuki Mizuta

The Tower-man started
to climb the Forest Tower,
wishing to be a King Kong
Kazuo Ishikuro
by Akina Chikada (This one is funny!)
During the show, the art-tour will be held every Sunday and National Holidays (September 21-23) from 11:00. Also several workshops are planned every weekend during the event. First 20 anybody who shows up by the meeting time can join. The fee is 500 yen each. This is the menu for this year: 

Name of the event
What's we are doing?
Large Fan, Small Fan
Making fan and fun with bamboo grass in the forest, with Kazuo Ishiguro 石黒和夫
In Search for Forest Venus
Finding sexy trees in the forest, and let them wear the costume, with Kiyotaka Tanaka 田中清隆
Gold Medals for the Forest
Crafting medals with leaves, nuts, etc found in the forest, with Akina Chikada 近田明奈. At the end of the event, we present the gold medal to the forest.
Moving into Our Forest Houses
Designing hand-held houses to live in the forest by materials found in the forest, with Noriaki Oka 岡典明.
Forest with Marble Kaleidoscipe
Walking in the forest to observe small and large world of forest through hand-made marble kaleidoscope, with ASADA.
Create Lucky Charm for 2016
Crafting lucky battledores with leaves, nuts, etc found in the forest, with Yoko Koga 木賀陽子.

If you find a problem in the site introduced in this post, the best contact address will be GROUP the Creation and Voice of the Woods. The events also receives grants from Culture and Tourism Bureau of the City 横浜市文化観光局. The contact address of the Bureau is

Minatocho, Naka-ku, Yokohama, 231-0017
: 045-671-3715 FAX: 045-663-5606

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