Monthly Archives: January 2017

石屋さん・STONE DEALER 2016 – book

The book “Stone Dealer” is a sequel to the video “Blue Stone”. It contains recorded conversations I had with eight stone dealers. Despite the fact that the stones have lost their commercial value, the stone dealers believe that the stones have preserved their unique cultural value and they explain what that means, seen from their perspective. Presently the profession of stone dealer is about to disappear. While there used to be four hundred of them, now only a handful of them are active in the stone business. One former stone dealer says: “Even when your body and bones are gone, the Sanbaseki stone will remain there and protect you forever.” This book shows that the value of natural objects is located in the personal stories and life histories they entail. It is a tribute to the stone dealers of Onishi.

torch press (JP)
244 pages
130 x 190 mm
ISBN 978-4-907562-07-6
Design: Akiko Wakabayashi

Generously supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo

BLUE STONE 2016 – video, Shiro Oni Residency, Gunma, Japan

The city of Onishi is well-known for its blue colored stones called “Sanbaseki”, which are used as decoration for Japanese gardens. Thanks to the booming stone business in Japan between the ’60s and ’80s, the city as well as some of its stone dealers became extremely wealthy. Although the popularity of the stones has waned, you can still find many blue stones along the streets and in front of people’s houses as you walk through the city. By tracing those stones, which seem to be overlooked nowadays, the way of life of people in Onishi comes to life.

Video: Mariko Kuwahara
Editing: Eva Sjerps

BLUE STONE 2015 – screening, Kurosawa’s living room

PARA PARA 2016 – dance performance, Lost & Found, Amsterdam

“Para Para” (パラパラ) is a style of disco dance that occurred in the ’80s in Japan. It is said that it started when a university student introduced moves he learnt from the gymnastic class in a disco in Tokyo. Para para is a group dance that is characterised by the typical arm movements that are performed at the exact same time in the exact same way. Although the Western dance especially in the club scene is about self-expression, Para Para is all about being part of the group. During Lost & Found the visitors were invited to follow us to form a big Para Para dance group to experience the joy of becoming one.

Dancers: Masaki Komoto and Mariko Kuwahara
Music: Dark In The Night / MAIO & CO