Tokyo Art Meeting V Seeking New Genealogies-Bodies / Leaps / Traces

Tokyo Art Meeting V
Seeking New Genealogies-Bodies / Leaps / Traces

Over the past 10 years, dance and performance exhibitions have been enthusiastically curated at contemporary and modern art museums the world over. Social networks, relationality, positionality, the politics of incidents, and the reconsideration of empiricism all lie in the backdrop of this trend.

Within these phenomena, the inspection of bodily performance becomes a mirror for the times.Through performance, our bodies are fermented, transformed, and can become the foundation for new cultural creation.

Society and the environment change at an ever-accelerating pace, so in these uncertain times and with an unclear future, we first look to our own bodies to be a firm touchstone from which we can strike a balance for existence. We try to pursue the traces of our feelings, memories, and knowledge etched into our own bodies.

The "bodily performance" I refer to here includes a wide swath of physical expression, such as in traditional arts like dance, Noh, and Kabuki, as well as drama and sports. Both as a form of communication that surpasses language and as a local topos or cultural memory, they are closely bound to our spiritual life. Despite this, the values of Modernism in art history have often left these out. Genealogies as a methodology may replace "History" with a capital "H," which tends to obscure the question of to whom it belongs.

The body that is the central focus of this "Seeking New Genealogies" exhibition, is the body of Kyogen and Noh master Mansai Nomura. Six-hundred years of Kyogen traditional forms and physical memory have been passed from father to son through the extremely pure process of Isshisōden and installed in this body, so that now, in 2014, his body carries the same "presence" as when it existed in the space and time of 600 years ago.

The genealogy presented in this exhibit is unique in the multidirectionality of its vectors. For example, Mansai Nomura's predecessor, Mansaku Nomura, whose participation in the vanguard movement in modern arts in the 1950s is an important element in tracing their genealogy. However, the goal of this exhibit is not to simply trace these similar contexts chronologically, but by also examining things like the relationality with contemporary artist Dumb Type from a minimalist and non-expressive viewpoint, we freely jump across space-time and search for these traces. This deconstructs the regime of Modernist values and recontextualizes culture.

From the perspective of contemporary artists and through research into objects of both the past and present, this exhibition will bring about acts of cultural production that involve new visualization and discourse.

Another goal of this exhibition is to use the "presence" of the bodies of individual performers (artists) to make viewers feel this genealogy with their own bodies. The aim of doing so is to focus not on the form or movement, but on the performative expression and traces of each of the artist's bodies, and this is reflected in the presentation of the concept of the space and time of the exhibition itself.

*This exhibition will take place as a part of the Tokyo Art Meeting section of the Tokyo Culture Creation Project.


We chose to appoint Mr. Mansai Nomura as general advisor because he is someone who perfectly embodies this exhibition's theme; "tracing genealogies" in the visual and performing arts. As a Kyogen actor、Mansai Nomura has 600 years of Kyogen kata (established patterns and movements) installed in his body. He has also been pursuing new forms of bodily expression through a variety of cross-genre interactions, ranging from Shakespearean drama, to avant-garde performance, dance and contemporary theater. It is this、which may allow him to be called a true practitioner of a new genealogy.

When Mr Nomura talks about the existence of Kata as something which allows him to move forward in a way that is unrestrainedly vanguard, we may imagine a journey along his own genealogy, tracing the path of his body's internal memory into both the past and the future.

Mansai Nomura's realization of the exhibition's main theme, has been elucidating for the artists involved. Based on new ideas related to kata, Dumb type have created a new work with the younger members of the group in which (according to Shiro Takatani in the talk session), the founding members assume the role of contemporary forms of "Dumb Type" patriarchs. Chelfitsch's Toshiki Okada summarizes―without much concern―a trend he has observed in young people today, of "not wanting to become disciples but needing a leader". This situation of seeking some form of roots while drifting about in a pool of information, is something he attempts to express in his new installation. In fact, Toshiki Okada has been seeking to formalize this disorderly mundane behavior of young people as a kata in itself. (Chief Curator, Yuko Hasegawa)

General Advisor
Mansai Nomuramansai.jpg

MANSAI NOMURA(performer) studied under his father Mansaku II and his late grandfather Manzo VI (both Living National Treasures). He made his stage debut at age three. His repertoire goes far beyond that of traditional Kyogen and Noh performers.  He has played the title role in Greek tragedies as well as in Shakespearean plays, such as Oedipus, directed by Yukio Ninagawa; and Hamlet, directed by Jonathan Kent. He is a film actor as well, having starred in such hit Japanese Movies as Ran by Akira Kurosawa and Onmyoji. Besides being such a successful actor, he is a talented director who is committed to directing plays that merge the classic and the contemporary, East and West. In addition to The Kyogen of Errors that toured to the London Globe Theatre in 2002 and the U.S. in 2005 and 2008, his directing credits include Macbeth, Kuni - nusu - bito (from Richard III), Yabu no Naka (In a Thicket), Kagamikaja (Mirror Servant), Atsushi (from the late Atsushi Nakajima's Sangestuki and Meijinden). For the latter, he was presented with an Asahi Performing Arts Award and a Kinokuniya Theatre Award (2005) for his direction and composition. He has received a National Arts Festival New Artist Award, and the Ministry of Education's Art Encouragement Prize for New Artists. As a Noh performer, he has been designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property. He has been Artistic Director of the Setagaya Public Theatre since 2002.


chelfitsch|Ka Fai Choy|Dumb Type*¹|Douglas Gordon & Philippe Parreno|Teppei Kaneuji |
Sharon Lockhart& Noa Eshkol | Henri Matisse*²| Julie Mehretu|Saburo Murakami | Ernesto Neto |
Mansai Nomura | Shintaro Oue + Mirai Moriyama + Shintaro Hirahara |
Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company | Jackson Pollock|
Dentsu Lab Tokyo & Rhizomatiks | Kazuo Shiraga | Atsuko Tanaka | Cy Twombly | Jiro Yoshihara

*¹ Exhibition dates for the new work: 27/9-16/11  *² Exhibition dates: 27/9-16/11

Performance program A curator: Akane Nakamura
Performance program B curator: Yuya Tsukahara(contact Gonzo)

Special thanks: Hidetoshi Nakata

Organized by:

Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo Culture Creation Project Office (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
The Sankei Shimbun

In cooperation with

Tokyo University of the Arts/ Mansaku-no-Kai Kyogen Company/ Sony PCL Inc.

Supported by

Japan Arts Fund

Under the auspices of

Embassy of Israel in Japan

Sponsored by

NEC Display Solutions, Ltd./ Setagaya Public Theatre(Setagaya Arts Foundation)/
Odawara Art Foundation/ / ASAHI-SHUZO SAKE BREWING CO.,LTD.

2_ダムタイプ.jpg 4_チェルフィッチュ.jpg3_インバル&アブシャロム.jpg


6_金氏.jpg 7_ネト.jpg

From left to right, top to bottom:

Dumb Type, Voyage, 2002 Photo: Kazuo Fukunaga [Reference Image]

chelfitsch, Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich, 2014 © Christian Kleiner [Reference Image]

Image from WALLFLOWER by Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak, July 2014 Photographer: Rotem Mizrahi

Sharon Lockhart, Five Dances and Nine Wall Carpets by Noa Eshkol, 2011© Sharon Lockhart, 2011 Photo Jens Ziehe, Berlin Courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels, and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. [Reference Image]

Teppei Kaneuji, Set design for Impossible To Understand You, It's Almost like Electrical Devices, OWL SPOT, Tokyo, 2011 Photo: Tsukasa Aoki

Ernesto Neto, hene yube rio jiboia gente é um sopro que atravessa a gente, 2014 Installation view at CCBB Brasilia Photo: Joana França

Ka Fai Choy, Prospectus For A Future Body Project Poster, 2013

Julie Mehretu, The Round City (Hatshepsut), 2013, KRAVIS COLLECTION

Ka Fai Choy
Dumb Type
*Exhibition dates for the new work:27/9-16/11

Douglas Gordon & Philippe Parreno
Teppei Kaneuji
Sharon Lockhart& Noa Eshkol
Henri Matisse *Exhibition dates:27/9-16/11
Julie Mehretu
Saburo Murakami
Ernesto Neto
Mansai Nomura
Shintaro Oue + Mirai Moriyama + Shintaro Hirahara
Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company
Jackson Pollock
Dentsu Lab Tokyo & Rhizomatiks
Kazuo Shiraga
Atsuko Tanaka
Cy Twombly
Jiro Yoshihara

Performance program A curator: Akane Nakamura

Performance program B curator: Yuya Tsukahara(contact Gonzo)

Special thanks: Hidetoshi Nakata

Performance program

Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company "Wallflower"

October 24, 2014 (Friday), 19:00
October 25, 2014 (Saturday), 14:00/ 19:00
October 26, 2014 (Sunday), 11:00/ 15:00
All performaces are sold out.

Venue:B2F, Atrium, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Admission: JPY6,000(including Tax)
Capacity: 130 (Email Application/ First come, first served./ Free seating)
■Children of Elementary school age are not permitted to apply for tickets or enter the theater.

Mansai Nomura & Shiro Takatani "Sambaso"" Boléro"

Sambaso: December 3, 2014 (Wednesday)
Boléro: December 17, 2014 (Wednesday)
Fee: Additional Tickets required for this performance.
*For further information (release date of tickets, how to buy, etc.) on our programs, we will inform on our website.

Toshiki Okada "Post-Rap"

December 23, 2014(Tue), 12:00/ 14:00/ 16:00
Fee: Free * Exhibition ticket required

Pichet Klunchun Dance Company "Tam Kai"
(Performance program A curator: Akane Nakamura)

October 11, 2014(Sat), 14:00
October 12, 2014(Sun), 14:00
Fee: Free * Exhibition ticket required(numbered ticket system/ first-come basis/ Free seating)
*Numbered tickets will be issued at the Main Information (Entrance Hall) from 10:00 on the day.
Pichet Klunchun Dance Company

All Performance program's Venue are
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Exhibition Gallery B2F, Atrium

Related programs

Artist's Talk

Lecture & Demo Performance by Ka Fai Choy
September 27, 2014(Sat), 15:00
Fee: Free * Exhibition ticket required/ English-Japanese translation available

Artist's Talk by Shiro Takatani (Dumb Type) .
September 27, 2014(Sat), 15:30
Venue:Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Exhibition Gallery B2F, Atrium
Fee: Free * Exhibition ticket required/ in Japanese only

■Lecture by Moriaki Watanabe

November 22, 2014 (Sat), 13:00
Venue:Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Exhibition Gallery B2F, Atrium
Fee: Free * Exhibition ticket required/ in Japanese only

■Talk Event by Hidetoshi Nakata

November 30, 2014 (Sun), 15:00
Venue:Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Exhibition Gallery B2F, Atrium
Fee: Free * Exhibition ticket required/ in Japanese only
Concurrent events at Tokyo University of the Arts

■Work shop by Mansai Nomura

October 27, 2014 (Mon), 10:30
Venue:Tokyo University of the Arts, Noh Hall
Fee: Free * in Japanese only
Capacity: 100 people



Sep 27 (sat)-Jan 4 (sun) 2015

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Mondays (except 10.13, 11.3, 11.24), 10.14, 11.4, 11.25


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