Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!メリークリスマス+明けましておめでとう!

Dear all,

Again, I meet you with my blog and maybe I should not show up my name here since The Japan Foundation blog has a new interface with my cute avatar in your right hand site corner.

Hey Nunzia, I saw the Animation Character Exhibition in your blog. It is so fantastic that the exhibition was extended in one week for the audience. Do you know that we will have this exhibition in Vietnam next year? I do hope that there will be some other interesting stories about this kawaii exhibition in Vietnam next year in our blog.



Since my last entry in September, there were many activities in Hanoi that I would like to attach with in this blog. It is a challenge for me to miss telling you any of activity. However, still, I have to make up my mind. This time, Karin Quartet Music Concert, and Norwegian Wood Premiere will be your blog menu.

前回の記事は9月だったので、ブログに書きたいイベントが沢山ありすぎて選ぶのが大変でしたが、今回もやっぱり決断が必要みたい。今回のメニューはKARIN QUARTETのコンサートと、「ノルウェーの森」のプレミアにしましょう!

For the first time, Karin (koto) and other three musicians Akihito Obama (shakuhachi), Mami Ishizuka (Piano, vocal) and Aki-ra sunrise (percussions) had joined together as Karin Quartet and traveled around the southeast Asia. Hanoi, Vietnam is their third destination after Lao and Cambodia. For the Japan Foundation in Hanoi, this is the very first time to organize such a music concert. Especially, there were two collaborated performances with Vietnamese musicians in the program suggested by our Deputy Director Mr. Yoshioka. After all considerations, with the support from Mr. Do Bao, a famous music composer and music arranger, we finally invited Ms. Vanessa Van Anh Vo (dan tranh, 16 strings) who stays in the USA, and Ms. Thu Huyen, one of the top Cheo singers in Vietnam to join with Karin Quartet in two nights performances.

We welcomed more than 900 audiences in two nights. I wish you could be in the theatre to see how the audiences were excited after each performance and crazy with Akira Sunrise when he played the djem (a drum from Africa) and beat box in the song titled “Spain”. Karin Quartet encouraged the audience to join in the last two performances with “Chakkiri-bushi” and “Longyi and the sun” by singing along in chorus, and clapping hands with the music rhythm. In the encore, audience sang along with the musicians the song “Umi” (The sea), which translated into Vietnamese by Mr. Do Bao.

琴の奏者かりんさん、小濱明人さん(尺八)、石塚まみさん(ピアノ、ヴォーカル)、Aki-ra sunriseさん(パーカッション)から成るKARIN QUARTETが 東南アジアを訪れるのも初めてなら、国際交流基金のハノイ事務所がこうした音楽公演を催すのも初めてでしたが、今回は、アメリカからヴァネッサ・ヴァン・アン・ホーさん(16弦の琴、ダンチャイン)と、ベトナムを代表するチェオ歌手のスー・フエンさんが参加して、2晩で900名以上の観衆を迎えることになりました。ミュージシャン達のパフォーマンスに観客が大興奮で、とくにAki-ra Sunriseさんによるアフリカンドラムとビートボックスの演奏への熱狂ぶりは、本当にお見せしたかったです!!エンディングとアンコールでは、観客も手拍子や合唱で参加して、ベトナム語に翻訳された「海」という歌を一緒に歌いました。

It should be my mistake if I did not tell you one special gift of the Japanese musicians for Vietnamese audience in the second night. After the first performance, the musicians met some traffic jam on the way back to the hotel since there were many people with flags and motorbikes around the streets. They were told that Vietnam won over Singapore in a football match that night. The musicians bought some small Vietnamese flags and some head bands titled “Viet Nam vo dich” (Vietnam-the winner). Next day, in the middle of the song “Spain”, Aki-ra sunrise suddenly but slowly in silence wore the head band and play the drum excitedly while the other three waved the flags like the way Vietnamese people did the night before in the street. The theatre became so hot with the clapping hands and shouting. Please see the photos below.


初日の晩、ホテルへの帰り道、彼らは旗を持った人たちとバイクの人だかりに遭遇したのですが、その日はちょうどサッカーの試合の日で、ベトナムがシンガポールとの試合に勝った後だったんです。そこでAki-ra sunriseさんは、小さなベトナムの国旗と「Viet Nam vo dich (Vietnam – the winner)」と書かれたヘアバンドを買いました。そして次の日のステージで、あるパーカッションの曲の途中でおもむろにヘアバンドを取り出してだまって身につけると、いっそう熱く演奏を再開しました。他の3人はベトナム人が前の晩していたように熱狂的に旗を振ってくれました。観客も感極まって拍手したり叫んだり!下がそのときの写真です!!



Mr. Dang Nhat Minh, the famous film director, told me that “Since the Japan Foundation office has established in Hanoi, there are many activities for Vietnamese public audience to approach Japanese culture. Organizing programs that are interesting and close to the public audience is one of the specialties of The Japan Foundation in Hanoi. For this time, I am impressed with the collaboration performances. I hope there are more collaboration performances between Vietnamese artists and Japanese artists not only in music but also in other fields of art.” Ms. Vanessa Vo Van Anh, who experienced in many collaboration sessions with international artists, really appreciated the talent of Karin and Quartet. She could not imagine that they can improvise with two days practice. “What professional musicians!”, she said.

有名な映画監督のダン・ナット・ミンさんは、「ハノイに国際交流基金のベトナム日本文化交流センターが設立されてから、一般大衆が日本文化に接するイベントが増えました。今回はコラボレーションに感動しました。音楽だけでなく、様々なフィールドで、もっとベトナムと日本のアーティストのコラボレーションが増えればいいですね。」と話してくれました。世界中のアーティストとコラボレーションの経験のあるヴァネッサさんも、たった2日間のリハーサルで即興演奏をこなしたKARIN QUARTETの才能について「本当のプロフェッショナルだわ!」と感激していました


Japanese and Vietnamese musicians in a Vietnamese song




Passionate audience





Artists surrounded with fans


Well, believe me, they are not only that talent. They are so nice and humble as well.


They remind me of Director Tran Anh Hung and his film “Norwegian Wood” in the premiere night one week ago, on 22nd of December, 2010.



Director Tran Anh Hung


Actually, the Japan Foundation decided to support for Norwegian Wood premiere in Hanoi or to invite the main actor and actresses from Japan. Unfortunately, our invitations reached them when they have already had other plans at the same time. But still, the supporting plan for Norwegian Wood premiere was implemented as planned. As explained in Tuoi Tre Newspaper (http://tuoitre.vn/Tuoi-tre-cuoi-tuan/Van-hoa-Nghe-thuat/416529/%E2%80%9CToi-khong-deo-kinh-chong-nang-o-Viet-Nam%E2%80%9D.html), Mr. Norihiko Yoshioka, Deputy Director of the Japan Foundation in Hanoi considered Norwegian Wood is one of the opportunities for the Vietnamese people to get to know and see Japanese culture through Tran Anh Hung’ eyes.

The premiere was warm and closely with the way Tran Anh Hung welcomed his friends, press and guests. He had no hesitation to talk with guests and kept waiting until the end of the movie to say thanks to the audience just outside the door of the theatre.

実は、国際交流基金のベトナム日本文化交流センターではノルウェーの森の公開に合わせて、メインキャストを日本から招待したいと考えていたのですが、招待が彼らに届いたときには、すでに他の予定が入ってしまっていました。それでもセンターは、映画のプレミアを変わらずサポートすることにしました。というのも副所長の吉岡さんがTuoi Tre新聞に語ったとおり、「ノルウェーの森」はベトナム人がトラン・アン・ユン監督を通して日本文化に触れるチャンスと考えたからです。



Mr. Yoshikawa and Mr.Yoshioka talked with Director Tran Anh Hung


So, let’s enjoy Norwegian Wood to see how Tran Anh Hung depicted Japanese culture in his movie!

Thank you for your time, especially Mio-san, who always translates my long blog patiently.

See you next time.




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

いつの間にか年末だ!大変だ!When did it become holiday season?!




Good evening everyone, this is mio from Tokyo!

Nunzia, looking at your article, I would rather be at Rome!!

So glad it was successful, and this is me who URAYAMASHII you!








I did not realize my city became all illuminated within a few weeks!

Can't believe this year is almost over... are you all having nice holiday season?

I am VERY curious how each city looks like in this season!

So I hurried up and launched new blog design within this year! How do you like it??

I wanted to show who's writing the blog, especially because this year we have 3 staffs from outside Japan!

Please tweet your comments if you like it!

新宿のイルミネーション!いやー年末ですね。Shinjuku illumination!




Looks similar, but this is installation of Yayoi Kusama at Aichi Triennnale.


最後に…今年の国際交流基金のグリーティングカードと年賀状は、水戸芸術館で行われた「新次元 マンガ表現の現在」展 から、


This years greeting card is designed from the installation of Moyoco Anno in the exhibition ”Manga Realities - Exploring the Art of Japanese Comics Today".




So everyone have a nice holiday, and we will probably see Nha san's entry before new year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good Morning everybody!ローマからおはようございます!

This is Nunzia from Rome office!

Here in Rome it seems rainy season! But despite the rain our activities continues!



Cathy san, I read with interest your article about the meeting of overseas staff! It should be very interesting to compare the work of different overseas offices of Japan Foundation and to take part in the training! Uyaramashiiii!!!


About our office in Rome, from the 27th September to the 6th November we held an exhibition about Japanese character. Since it was very successful we decided to extend it for one week! The most interesting thing was that people of different age came to see it!

As you know, characters and animations are loved by young and adult in the same way!




Last week we had an opening of our exhibition about the Japanese Pavilion of The 12th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale and a lecture of Kazuyo Sejima who was the director of the Biennale this year.


As you may know, she came to our institute to talk about her works and her idea of architecture. It was a very successful event, the auditorium was full of people not only they couldn’t seat, but also they were standing in corridor!



As Kazuyo Sejima said, her architecture style is influenced by her Japanese culture, so in some projects she tried to express a feeling of “ouverture(french/ meanns "openness")” to create a direct dialogue between inside and outside of the buildings.



The present exhibition is about the project Tokyo Metabolizing, so there are many pictures of the 2 projects presented to the Japan Pavilion of the Venice Biennale: House & Atelier Bow-Wow and the Moriyama house. I uploaded some pictures! I Hope you like it!!!




In this period at our institute there is not only the architecture/art exhibition, but also the movie season! Twice a week our guests can come to see Japanese movies. The film review of this time is dedicated to Takeo Kimura a great set designer!

Dewa, next is you Mio!!! :)

会館はいま、建築や美術の展覧会だけでなく、映画シーズンでもあります!週に2回日本映画の上映をしているんですよ。今回は特に3月に亡くなられた映画監督・美術監督の木村 威夫さんに捧げられています。