Program

MAP
Saidaiji Temple
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: Ayşe Erkmen (Turkey)
Saidaiji Temple
Saidaiji Temple
Past work: PlanB, 2011, 54th Venice Biennial
Saidaiji Temple was founded at the wish of Emperor Shotoku. The temple had grand buildings which was comparable to Todaiji Temple in the Nara Period, but many were lost in repeated fires. The current buildings are from the mid-Edo Period. The work will be exhibited in the area surrounding Chashitsu Rokusouan, located what was once the site of the West Tower during the Nara Period and the pond.

Seeing the pond in Saidaiji Temple as a symbol of the Eastern end of the silk-road in the old times, the artist creates a Western style swimming pool next to the pond. Invited from Turkey, old capital area of Eastern Roman Empire located on the opposite Western rim of the old silk-road, the artist connects the pool with the pond with pipes, circulating and purifying its water. This mechanical device is also visually one of the main part of the work. Through the work, viewers may able to imagine of the cultural exchange between the West and the East, and discover the interesting combination of the tradition and modern technology.
Toshodaiji Temple
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: / Diana Al-Hadid (Syria)
Toshodaiji Temple
Toshodaiji Temple
Past work: Gradiva’s Fourth Wall, 2011, photo:Kevin Todora
Toshodaiji Temple was founded by Jianzhen, a Chinese priest as a temple to learn the precepts of Buddhism. It has many buildings from the Nara Period including Kondo (Main Hall, national treasure) and they bring the winds of Tenpyo (8th century). The work will be exhibited at the pond worshipping the dragon god, said to have been created by Ganjin.

As found from the life and history of Jianzhen, the founder of Toshodaiji Temple, people had to overcome many difficulties, crossing mountains and ocean, transporting culture from one place to another in old period. Through years of centuries, there must have been many stories of people already faded away from our memories. Diana Al-Hadid working in the U.S., who has immigrated from Syria in her childhood, is working with large installations and sculpture which would remind viewers of stories behind the work. Her work for Nara is based on Western tapestry from the middle age. Viewers may be able to feel layers of stories and culture of people transporting the motif and its meaning from one end of the world to another.  
Yakushiji Temple
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: Shilpa Gupta (India)
Yakushiji Temple
Yakushiji Temple
Past work: Echigo Tsumari Art Field 2015, photo:Gentaro Ishizukaphoto
Yakushiji Temple was built as Emperor Tenmu prayed for the recovery of his wife from illness, who later became Empress Jito. When the capital was transferred to Heijo-kyo in 710, the temple was moved from Fujiwara-kyo (current Kashihara City) to its present location. In the venue, there are the East tower (national treasure, currently dismantled and under repair) was built in Nara Period in Hakuho Style and Toindo (national treasure),which was during the Kamakura Period (13th century).

She is the most active artist in the contemporary Indian art scene, garnering international attention. Considering artwork that involves the history, propagation and transition of Buddhism that flourished in Nara. The sculpture describes the human head, clouds and a house with profile lines, dissolving into space.
Daianji Temple
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: Tadashi Kawamata (Japan)
Daianji Temple
Daianji Temple
Tower of scaffolding
Daianji Temple was originally Daikandaiji Temple, which was the head of Kanji Temples (state-sponsored temples) having its roots to Kumagori dojo (learning place) founded by Prince Shotoku in 7th century. At its peak time, it was called Nandaiji Temple and had large scale monastery as a general university with 889 learning monks. The work will be exhibited around the remains of the tower in rice paddies.

He is exhibiting his work at the area neighboring the remains of a huge 7-story pagoda that runs from east to west, where ruins investigators assume it stood. Using the scaffold log technique, which has been handed down at the restoration sites of cultural assets, the artist has produced a contemporary tower, reminiscent of the previous one.
Todaiji Temple
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: Cai Guo-Qiang (China)
Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple
Todaiji Temple is known for its Rushana Buddha statue (Great Buddha, national treasure), a project that took the full-scale effort by the then government and Kondo (Colossal Hall of the Great Buddha, national treasure), which is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. The artwork is exhibited on the Kagami-ike Pond, which is substituting for the ocean. The pond is located between Nandaimon (south gate), which was revived by Chinese technology during the Kamakura Period (13th century) and the Colossal Hall).

Ships are the symbol of cultural exchange through oceans. The traditional style ship which sailed on the East Asian ocean was publically built by 10 ship carpenters from China. The completed ship is exhibited as the symbol of “Culture City of East Asia 2016, Nara”.
Kohfukuji Temple
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: Sahand Hesamiyan (Iran)
Kohfukuji Temple
Kohfukuji Temple
Forough: Brightness
Kohfukuji Temple originated from Yamashina Temple which was built in 669. In the summer to autumn 2016, two national treasures, the 5-story pagoda and the 3-story pagoda, which are also the symbols of the communities of Nara, will open their doors at the same time for the first time in history. The work will be exhibited near the 3-story pagoda.

Sahand Hesamiyan has been working for years to combine historical ornamental motifs of the mid-West with Modernist’s ideal of abstraction and simplicity from the Western world. In the Biennale of Venice in 2015, the artist exhibited a large sculpture which may remind viewers of a flower blossom. For the work for Kohfukuji, the artist is presenting a lotus motif which is sharing a popularity in many countries, such as Egypt, Iran (Persia), or China along the silk-road, and imported from China to Japan along with Buddhism.
Kasugataisha Shrine
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: SISYU+teamLab (Japan)
Kasugataisha Shrine
Kasugataisha Shrine
Story of the Time when Gods were Everywhere
Kasuga Shrine is celebrating the 60th transfer of a deity to a new shrine building, a reconstruction of the main shrine building, conducted once every 20 years. The artwork will be exhibited in the Chakutoden Pavilion (important cultural property) where the “Chakuto-no-gi” (arrival ceremony) is held prior to the ceremony celebrating the visit of the imperial envoy at the main shrine at the time of the Kasuga Festival in March.

Letters projected on the screens change their form into the shapes each letter means when one touches them, and living things start to move. It is an interactive artwork related to Nara.
Gangoji Temple
From September 3 to October 23
Artist: Kimsooja (South Korea)
Gangoji Temple
Gangoji Temple
To Breathe – The Flags, 2012, Single channel video, 40:41 min. loop, silent, Courtesy of Kimsooja Studio
Gangoji Temple was separated from the oldest temple founded in Japan in the 6th century, Asuka-dera Temple, when the capital moved to Heijo. It is well-known that roof tiles from the Asuka Period (6th century) are still used for the main shrine (Gokuraku-do) and Zen-shitsu (meditation chamber, national treasure). The artwork will be exhibited at 2 locations; in the sitting room of Shoshibo (prefectural designated cultural asset) and at Ishibutai (a stone stage).

One of the leading artist from East Asian countries, Kimsooja has considered the theme of the work imagining of the beginning of the universe. Based on the traditional thoughts of “yin and yang”(light and shadow) shared among East Asian countries, the artist focused on the “time” which Gangoji Temple has experienced since the long history of Nara Period in the 8th Century. Through the artwork for the temple, by seeing what we are able to see today, viewers may imagine of landscapes and memories which have already disappeared in the history.
MAP
Heijo Palace Site
From September 9 to September 12
SPAC (Shizuoka Performing Arts Center)
SPAC (Shizuoka Performing Arts Center)
Photographer : Hioki Masami
A Play Celebrating the Explosion of Asian Power
A most beautiful love story derived from the ancient Indian epic verse, “Mahābhārata – The Adventure of Nala” is magnificently staged in this play. Each of their performances at Festival d’Avignon, received standing ovations. With its 360 degree “ring-shaped” stage surrounding the audience, Mahābhārata will finally arrive in Nara.
ticket sales : From July 12, 2016
Heijo Palace Site
From October 14 to October 24
ISHINHA
ISHINHA
Every year, people discuss where ISHINHA will perform. This year, it will be in Nara.
With Asia as the theme, they will reconstitute their 2010 performance involved in their visualized “ocean way”. Spread out in all directions, it will evoke history. Experience a totally new scene where you can strongly sense the development of space and depth of time.
ticket sales :

From august 28
(The date is not yet fixed)

Nara Centennial Hall
From October 1 to October 2
Manyo Opera/Lab
Manyo Opera/Lab
A story of friendship among 3 students sent to Tang; ABE no Nakamaro, who was the favorite of Emperor Xuan Zong and became a minister in Tang, KIBI no Makibi, who became a minister in Japan after being sent to Tang twice, and Shinsei Fujii, a Japanese envoy to Tang who died there when he was only 36 years old.
ticket sales : Now on Sale
  • OTOMO Naoto
    Naoto Otomo(Conductor)
  • Tsuyoshi Mihara
    Tsuyoshi Mihara
  • Sara Kobayashi
    Sara Kobayashi
  • Kenkichi Hamahata
    Kenkichi Hamahata(direction)
MAP
Naramachi Center
September 2 (Fri.) and 3 (Sat.)
September 17 (Sat.) ~ September 25 (Sun.)
Pop up Restaurant
Pop up Restaurant
The team researches food producers and food materials in Nara, describing the transitions and history of the Silk Road that can be seen through food.
Kasugataisha Shrine - Tobihino
October 10 (Mon.)
Edible Landscape
Edible Landscape
Using food materials encountered in Nara, a food space will be established at the grand location under the theme, “offering”. Participants will join in the production until finally, they will eat Nara itself. This is an interactive event with food materials which you enjoy “products from and the flavor of that place”.

Stage Performance Division

Visual Arts Division

Art Projects at 8 Shrines and Temples – Traveling over 1300 Years of Time and Space

The introduction of Buddhism to Japan brought along with it the introduction of academic, philosophical and social systems, having great influence on Japanese culture. The project will see the installation of artworks at Nara’s shrines and temples, the symbols of the most internationally opened period in Japanese history, by well-known artists from countries which visited Japan.

Naramachi Art Project – Walking around Nara's Past and Present

An art project that allows visitors appreciating artworks as they explore Naramachi, letting patrons feel history from the Edo to the Meiji periods (17th century to the early 20th century).

  • Nara Naramachi Art Project

Food Division

Pop up Restaurant

Pop up Restaurant

The team researches food producers and food materials in Nara, describing the transitions and history of the Silk Road that can be seen through food.

Schedule September 2 (Fri.) and 3 (Sat.)
September 17 (Sat.) ~ September 25 (Sun.)
This event has ended.
Venue Naramachi Center

Edible Landscape

Edible Landscape

Using food materials encountered in Nara, a food space will be established at the grand location under the theme, “offering”. Participants will join in the production until finally, they will eat Nara itself. This is an interactive event with food materials which you enjoy “products from and the flavor of that place”.

Schedule October 8 (Sat.) This event has ended.
Venue Kasugataisha Tobihino

Ae

Ae

“Ae” means food as a treat. This type of treatment was already recorded in Nihon-shoki, the oldest chronicle of Japan. Ceremonial dishes will be cooked based on a compilation of research on the roots of food, history, nature and communication in this area, expressing from the old to modern Nara.

Schedule October 9 (Sun.) and 10 (Mon.) This event has ended.
Venue warehouse

HIVE

HIVE

A joint project team HIVE has been established by "Food Project Nara" of Nara Women's University for a limited period. Through historic research, the food ingredients of Nara and food product markets, the team's challenge is to develop their own unique products.
Additionally, the team will "plan and operate the Pop up Restaurant," creating the restaurant from scratch, from menus to on site coordination.

* *Food Project Nara
The project to create unique dishes using food materials and products from Nara, such as Yamato vegetables and Narazuke pickled vegetables. It is conducted mainly by university students. They have achieved several product developments through collaboration with many corporations.

FOOD RESIDENCY

Supporting chefs from in and out of Japan will participate to create additional excitement to the Pop up Restaurant.
While they stay in Nara for a certain period, they will see and touch the people and history of Nara with their own viewpoints. They will put in their own ideas and release them at the Pop up Restaurant and at workshops as satellite events.

Luz Moreno from Spain October. 2 (Sun.) - October.4(Tue.) This event has ended.
Pauline Lemberger from France October. 11 (Tue.) This event has ended.
奈良ひとまち大学
In cooperation with Nara Hitomachi University,
an experience-based cultural program with the theme,
"Foods Believed to Have Originated from Nara".
For more information,
see Nara Hitomachi University's website.
http://nhmu.jp/