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Oct. 9, 2012
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Beppu Contemporary Art Festival “Mixed Bathing World” 2012 opens (Oct. 6 – Dec. 2, 2012)
The Beppu Contemporary Art Festival is held once every three years in the city of Beppu, Oita Prefecture, one of Japan’s most famous onsen (hot spring) destinations. Launched in 2009, this year marks the festival’s second holding. The 2012 program presents works by artists from Japan and five foreign countries, including eight projects in the fields of visual art and dance on themes varying from the reuse of industrial facility remains or vacated facilities as art venues to site-specific art making use of the natural environment of the hot springs area, at sites and venues around the city.
The two dance projects on the program are the result of curatorial efforts of Norikazu Sato of the NPO Japan Contemporary Dance Network (JCDN). Every weekend, The “Mixed-bathing Golden Night” event presents mixed-genre performances at the Eikyu (Eternal) Beppu Theater, recently renovated from a former strip club. There, young dancers selected from applicants from the Kanto, Kansai and local regions perform along with guest artists such as Ikuyo Kuroda, Yoshihide Otomo and the NOBEBO kinpun (gold dusted) performance team.
Yoko Higashino, leader of the group BABY-Q heads a project titled “Kusunokiginten-gai Theater” that takes the 150-meter long Kusunokiginten shopping arcade with its growing number of shuttered stores and transforms it into one big theatrical venue. Joining the project are a variety of artist including lighting and space directing artist Ryoya Fudetani, space artist R-type-L, musician Toshio Kajiwara, video artist Yohei Saito and others. During the two months of the festival, dancers selected from around the country will work with local citizens to create dance works. These will be performed as the festival’s finale in an event called “Void The Fill.”
The visual arts program is curated by Fumihiko Sumitomo this year. It features a work by India’s Shilpa Gupta in an area of a vacated underground mall,; a project by Milano-based artist Satoshi Hirose working with local architects to resurrect old vacated homes and display art in them; and a large-scale project by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie in which multiple massive bamboo sculptures with traditional Beppu bamboo craft designs will be scattered throughout the Kannawa area with its countless plumes of steam rising from hot springs.
At the same, the “Beppu Art Month 2012” public art festival organized by the festival’s organizing committee will present a program of approximately 150 works selected from citizen applications.

Festival Outline
This arts festival is held once every three years since 2009 in the city of Beppu, Oita Prefecture, one of world’s largest hot spring spa areas. Amid the important movement to counter the hollowing out of the city center and the drain of young people to other areas with attractive community and urban development projects, this festival was launched in 2005 by the NPO Beppu Project (Chairman: Junya Yamaide) with the central idea of tapping the leadership and energy of local citizens to create festival events in venues throughout the city. Its first holding as the Beppu Contemporary Art Festival 2009 “Mixed Bathing World” presented approximately 170 works and events by domestic and foreign artists over its 65-day run and attracted a total audience of about 92,000. The general producer is Junya Yamaide and the general director is Takashi Serizawa.
+Beppu Contemporary Art Festival “Mixed Bathing World”