2015 Artists

Julian Barnett, Choreographer

October, 2015

Julian_Barnett_SJulian Barnett is a dancer, choreographer, and “an artist creating performance-based works” – which is to say that even while operating primarily in dance communities, his approach to the art is unbound by convention, and open to a rigorous, collaborative, and empathetic consideration of how to perform with and through the human body. During his residency, he plans to explore several facets of dance and movement in Japan – including butoh through the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio, specifically examining the form’s evolution through female practitioners, contemporary dance with Yamazaki Kota and Nishimura Mina, and kendo at the Tokyo Kyumeikan Dojo. Barnett is of half-Japanese descent, and thus also hopes to get better acquainted with his own heritage through this process.

Katie Cercone, Interdisciplinary Visual Artist

February, 2015

Katie_Cercone_SKatie Cercone is an interdisciplinary artist who creates hip hop feminist performative video sculpture. The “embodied feminism” in these works reflects a cross-pollination of hip hop spirituality, Goddess archetypes, and pop culture mythmaking. Cercone, with a background in gender studies, connects hip hop to feminism through its counter-hegemonic discourse, Neo-Jungian notions of “cultural dreaming,” and emphasis on the posse, or crew, arguing that these are all relevant to a transnational feminist agenda.
These goals are also shared with the Go! Push Pop Collective, for which she is Co-Director. In Japan, she plans to research the appropriation of American hip hop culture as manifest in blackface, or the “ganguro” phenomenon, and “identifying the very culturally specific ways Japanese youth are adopting hip hop and ‘black’ cool.” In addition to research, her plans also include the creation of a collaborative video and performance, including Japanese members of the hip hop and ganguro scenes.

Photo: Marie Tomanoval

George Ferrandi, Visual and Performance Artist

June, 2015

George_Ferrandi_SThough performance, installation, and sculpture figure largely in her work, the wide range of media employed by George Ferrandi is resonant with her open and conceptual approach to art – one that is deeply responsive to the various sites and situations that call for it. Her projects, often communal and participatory, have fashioned new approaches to spectacle, narrative, ritual, and collaboration. Ferrandi’s current project is a large-scale interdisciplinary festival celebrating the phenomenon of Axial Precession, which will incorporate “illuminated sculpture, a celestial choir, choreographed processional dancers and a league of women drummers.” In Japan, Ferrandi plans to reside in Aomori Prefecture to witness and participate in preparations for the Nebuta Festival, where she hopes to witness the fabrication, wiring, and painting of the illuminated floats used in the festival, as well as engaging with experts and craftspeople of the tradition.

Paul Kikuchi, Composer

April, 2015

Paul_kikuchi_SPaul Kikuchi is a percussionist, composer, and sound artist whose work explores a wide range of styles – from chamber music to experimental jazz – while also considering specificity of site and material, differences in awareness and intention, along with aspects of history, experience, and perception. His current project is a song-cycle based on the written memoir and 78 rpm record collection of his great-grandfather, Zenkichi Kikuchi. This project involves aspects of Japanese history, music (gagaku and enka), and papermaking (washi), and will involve in-depth research of the time and place during which Zenkichi lived. The works include original compositions as well as “re-imaginations” that integrate songs from his great-grandfather’s collection with new material based on his excavations and explorations.

Photo: Liz Tunnel

Monique Truong, Novelist

March, 2015

Monique_Truong_SMonique Truong is a Vietnamese American novelist and essayist whose previous books have featured characters who traverse cultures, including a Vietnamese cook in the Paris home of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and a Vietnamese adoptee in the American South. Her current project is a novel based on the life of Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo), as told through the voices of the four most important women in his cross-cultural life. In Japan, Truong plans to spend her time in Tokyo, while also visiting Matsue, Kumamoto Prefecture, where the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum is housed in the building that was once home to Hearn and his Japanese wife, Setsuko. For Truong, Hearn’s life is of particular interest because of the “mixing of cultures, family abandonment, travel, [and] search for home.” Her novel, The Book of Salt, has also been published in Japanese translation (with the same title).

Photo: Michele Panduri Metalli

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