Friday, June 2, 2017

Art in the Forest 2017: Preview for the Laboratory of the Forest 2017 森ラボ 2017

Sorry, a slight change in my posting. Next week, I start to tell you about Yadoriki Forest やどりき水源林, which I promised to post today. Instead, this week is about 2017 Laboratory of the Forest. In 2017, the forest for annual Art Exhibition in the Forest of Yokohama is a part of the place for the 2017 National Urban Greenery Fair 全国都市緑化フェア, next to Yokohama Zoorasia. On the other hand, the GROUP the Creation and Voice of the Woods 創造と森の声 that organizes the exhibition has celebrated their 20th anniversary. They announced the art event this year has completely different program. The Group does not have 2017 exhibition as they have had regularly, but two categories of weekend activities. One is the workshops during July-September where the visitors to the forest can work with the artists to create art by themselves. By coming October, the forest will have all the installations created during the workshops, which is the 2017 Art Exhibition in the Forest of Yokohama. Another is forest management activities including vegetation survey. The first project of theirs have already completed last month as a part of the 2017 National Urban Greenery Fair. This week, I report you their May event and tell you their schedule from June. If you plan to join any of these activities, please make a contact with the GROUP the Creation and Voice of the Woods. RSVP. (Phone/FAX: 045-933-1460, Mobile: 090-9137-3329, Email: Their Facebook is here). They, as always, solicit donations to be a supporter of their activities. If you give annual contribution of 3000 yen, they will send you 3 newsletters per year, and information for the members-only events.

Their first project for 2017 was held on May 13, 14, 20 and 21 in the venue for National Urban Greenery Fair. It’s titled “Dance, Dance, Dance,” with Kazuo Ishiguro 石黒和夫. The participants of the workshop created figures of dancing people using the materials found in the forest. It seems to me, not only the completed installations but also their activity drew a lot of attention from visitors of nice shoes more common in shopping centers, not in a forest. “Oh, look, what are they doing?” “Daddy, they are making dolls with twigs!” “Wow, this is really interesting …” For city dwellers without regular contact with nature, the art creation in the forest must have been an eye-opener. I too think their whimsical dancing figures are very animating and humorous … One weakness. The workshop was held along a wide promenade where lots of visitors are coming and going. The activity looked like a tableau in front of a crowd, just like in a standard museum. One of the charms of the Group was encountering their creation in a thick forest by surprise. I could not feel such an excitement as we could have in their regular exhibition … OK, the Greenery Fair is for those who do not know forest well. My impression is out of the context. Suggesting the way to enjoy the nature for complete novices must have an educational value. I hope “Dance, Dance, Dance” has expanded the number of the supporters for the Group. After June 3rd, all of their installations in the venue for National Urban Greenery Fair will be moved the neighboring forest that is the same place of the last year’s exhibition. They will stay there until winter this year ... They could be more vibrant in their forest than in the Fair.

Dancing twigs

Process 1
Process 2
This is cute.
On May 27 and 28
they collaborated with Midori Ward of the City
 to exhibit their previous activities,
including a fun event of “hand-sawing a log.”

After the Greenery Fair, they return to their regular venue of the last 2 years. June and from October to the next spring is for forest management activities. July-September is for art workshops which are

Project 2: Abstraction of the Forest, July 15-17, 10:00-15:00
With Yohichiro Yoshikawa 吉川陽一郎
“Let us create abstract ‘painting’ in the forest by moving the plants we find there.”

You can join whichever date you like for this event. No problem to participate all 3 days or 2 days.

Project 3: Athletic Drum, July 29, 10:00-15:00
“Let us create a place with lots of ‘musical instruments’ in the forest. We then enjoy music there, physically.”

Project 4: Land-art Labo, August 6, and August 10, 10:00-15:00
With Kazuma Horie 堀江和真
“Let us create tiny mountains in the forest by moving the soil. Eventually, they will be covered by grasses and mosses and become scenery of the forest.”
You can join whichever date you like for this event. No problem to participate all 2 days.

Project 5: Sleeping in the Forest, August 19 and September 2, 10:00-15:00
With Noriaki Oka 岡典明
“Let us create a wooden deck in the forest for us to throw ourselves down. Together, we see the sky through the tree canopy, and feel the wind in the forest.
You can join whichever date you like for this event. No problem to participate all 2 days.

Project 6: Cathedral of the Forest, September 10, 10:00-15:00
All artists
“Let us weave the tree branches to create a huge cathedral, and decorate it with ‘stained glasses.’”

The most frequent transportation services to the forest of the Group from June 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 and 15 both of which connect two stations. (From Nakayama, the time table is here. From Tsurugamine, the table is 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-defunct 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 a 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. In any case, first you walk a bit to the direction of Hikarigaoka Elementary and turn left at the first corner from the Nishi-Hikarigaoka bus stop. Go straight. Eventually you enter a small, paved and steeply climbing-up road between the forest on the right and a retirement housing complex, Care Home Yokohama and Villa Yokohama, on the left. Pass the top of the hill seeing a downing slope on the left between the Care Home and Villa. At this point on the edge of the forest, there is a big banner saying “創造と森の声.” From there, keep on going 10m or so along the forest, and on the right we see the entrance for the workshop. Another bus route we can use is the bus to Zoorasia. Use Asahi 9 and 10 to Zoorasia of Sotetsu from Yokohama (time table, here) or from Tsurugamine (time tables, here and here) Stations. Sotetsu Bus has started a service from Mitsukyo Station with Asahi 33 and 34 (time table, here). There also is City Bus service Route 136 to Zoorasia from JR Nakayama Station (time table, here). Get off the bus at Yokohama Zoorasia, and proceed further along for about 400 m to the direction of #2 Parking of the Zoo. On the right, there will be a small gate with the sign GROUP the Creation and Voice of the Woods. If you visit the place during weekends, many Asahi 10, 33, 34, and Route 136 buses will take us to the North Gate of Zoorasia (terminal stop) that is the closest to the workshop entrance. When you leave the terminal stop of Zoorasia North Gate, go back a bit along the bus road, and on the left there is the sign for the GROUP.

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 Group’s forest
When it rains,
the paved slope to the forest entrance
looks like this.
The banner
The bus stop for
the North Gate of Zoorasia
Walking back a bit from the North Gate,
on the left there is this entrance.
Though it’s not a yellow brick road
… it leads us to the workshop place
from the Zoorasia.

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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