Sono Shion solo exhibition “Whispering star”

Friday, June 26 – Sunday, July 26, 2015
*Opening reception: Friday, June 26, 5pm-7:30pm
Opening hours: 3pm-8pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
Admission: 500 yen
Venue: Garter (Kitakore building, 3-4-13 Koenji Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 166-0002)

We are pleased to announce that Chim↑Pom and Garter will open the artist-run gallery “Garter” at the Kitakore Building in Koenji, where Chim↑Pom’s studio locates. We plan to hold various events occasionally,
and the pre-opening event “Genbutsu Over Dose” exhibition by TENSAI High School!!!! held for a week last April received a great response and over 1100 people visited the exhibition in spite of such a short duration.
Celebrating its official opening, we are delighted to present Sono Sion’s first solo exhibition “Whispering star” as the first commemorative event.

Sono Sion is known as the most radical film director in Japan today and the active expressionist earning acclaim at international film festivals.
Sono has a unique and diverse background. He started his career as a poet and was described as “Sakutaro (Hagiwara) wearing a pair of jeans.” He later expanded his interest and activity to various categories: published a picture book for children, hosted the legendary performance collective “Tokyo Gagaga” and did guerrilla performance on streets in Tokyo in early 90s, formed a comic duo with Suidobashi Hakase, etc.

This exhibition will focus on “artist Sono Sion” and features three of his works: the archive of “Tokyo Gagaga,” a new happening artwork “Hachiko project,” and the video installation of his first independent film in seventeen years, “Whispering star” which is coming to theater in 2016 and which we believe to be one of his master pieces.

[Whispering star]

“Whispering star” is the science fiction film that Sono wrote in 1990 and produced in 2015.
Sono says he has a strong attachment to this film and would rather not show at the theater. He took time out of his busy schedule and dedicated himself to making this work. As you can see in the title, it depicted something we cannot speak loudly. Lines are cut to the minimum and dialogues are spoken in whispers even the movie is set in the outer space. Careful delineation of a common sight seen in daily life such as sound of turning the tap, florescent light and the like make this film calm and profound.

The stars on which main characters land was filmed in the evacuated zone in Fukushima and many people evacuated from the area played various roles in the movie.
At this exhibition, Sono will present the video installation using the limited scenes from the film. Whispering star, born as the answer to the established Japanese film industry and faltering Japanese society in ‘90s, will come up with the new reality in post-Fukushima and society losing the freedom of speech in 2015.

[Tokyo Gagaga / Hachiko project]

In 1993 after Sono had finished writing “Whispering star,” he formed the performance collective “Tokyo Gagaga.” He started a guerrilla performance to commandeer streets in downtown every week as if he was launching a counterattack against the Japanese society running out of steam. Sono recalls the committed two-years that he was caught by the police every time he did the performance. His activity was quite experimental and had a similarity to the resistance movement “Reclaim the Streets” in Europe and avant-garde art movement such as Neo-Dada and Fluxus in ‘60s.

“Hachiko project” is derived from “Tokyo Gagaga.” Sono says he started “Tokyo Gagaga” after he saw the pedestrian scramble in front of Hachiko statue in Shibuya and wanted to carry off. Hachiko is the symbol of the meeting spot where people gather almost automatically and it became the important motif for him. This project aims to increase the number of meeting spots by installing Hachiko’s replicas, and the first place he installed the replica was the evacuation zone in Fukushima where connects “Whispering star” and “Tokyo Gagaga.”

Sono’s progress reflects social trends like a mirror: flaming on the Internet and the surveillance society grown in inverse proportion to the lost two decades of post-bubble, the society suffered from the devastating disaster and declining freedom of the press. However, not limited to such dystopia, Sono aggressively portrays people who strongly survive in difficult circumstances, with his sense of humor.

Sono says about the coexistence of the opposites and art; “No matter what I do, film or art, my goal is always only one. I just want to reach there. Unless we live for over thousand years, we won’t able to see the harmony of love and peace. Expression is the way to see a part of it but something like iron sand and magnet falling apart. Expression is the way to get to the point of contradiction and perfection.”

Artist, Sono Sion.
We, Chim↑Pom are honored to hold the first exhibition by this greatest troublemaker in Japan at our new space. We hope as many as Japanese people to come to this exhibition, including those who are in art industry and haven’t paid much attention to him, those who are engaged in social activities falling into the pre-established harmony and all of the young people who has love for culture.


Related exhibition: Sono Shion “LOVE & PEACE paintings”
Tuesday, 2 June – Sunday, 5 July, 2015
Venue: On Sundays at Watari-Um Museum
Admission Free

Special thanks to: NIKKATSU, Sion Production, WATARI-UM, MUJIN-TO Production


GARTER is an artist-run gallery by Chim↑Pom and Garter opened in 2015, located in Koenji, Tokyo. Exhibitions are curated by Chim↑Pom irregularly at the rotten building which could be demolished at any time. Mainly extreme exhibitions by anarchic artists but there are many crazy Mr. and Mrs. Complainer around this building so no one knows how long it is going to continue to exist.

Kitakore Bldg., Koenji Kita 3-4-13, Suginami-ku, Tokyo


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