at Roppongi Hills Arena
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2013-03-23 - 2013-03-24)
Part of the Tokyo Culture Creation Project’s annual program of events in the city, for the first time in its history Roppongi Art Night (RAN) appointed Katsuhiko Hibino as artistic director in order to shape the event into a comprehensive project. Hibino is a RAN habitué who in the past has actually lived in the area, and this experience clearly helped him turn the event into a cohesive artwork in itself.
Like in 2012, Hibino chose to focus on the artistic and social response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, starting with the tall lighthouse that from the Roppongi Hills Arena was meant to beam a light of hope toward Tohoku. The theme chosen this year – “Trip – Witness Today’s Transformation into Tomorrow” – was also a reminder of how art, like a long journey, can change people’s values. For Hibino the sea, rivers and boats are symbolic of movement and time passing, and indeed, boats of many sizes and shapes could be found everywhere, each one carrying different messages and artistic delights. A strong cold wind joined the festivities as if to blow the ships on their night trip around Roppongi, but failed to stop the people from joining in the fun.
One of Hibino’s goals was to create “ordinary art in everyday life”. This was also apparent in the ‘poor’ materials often chosen by the artists to make their works – in many cases waste materials that were rescued and recycled, giving them a new identity.
According to Hibino, recent trends in art point toward a new attitude which cuts through barriers and categories. In this sense art is getting closer to life in both tackling sensitive social issues and embracing interculturalism. Hopefully the many people who stayed through the night were sucked into that special time zone where imagination runs wild and we can freely share our dreams.
Escaped from his home country in 1992 and found refuge in Japan, where he promptly found a job teaching people how to shout HELP! and avoid being robbed on foreign buses. Since 1997 he has been unhealthily active in the mail art network, unleashing on the unsuspecting public, among other things, the Treatise of Pataphysical Anatomy and the international fake political campaign poster project. When not running after his two kids and from his wife, he is usually busy making zines (one of them is about Tokyo and all things Japanese), writing for high- and lowbrow magazines, and exploring Tokyo. You can read his uncensored, Gonzo-like adventures in Artland at The Randy Reviewer. See other writings