Residency Program

Exchange Residency Program (International creators from abroad)

update: 2022.5.20


Participating ProjectExchange Residency Program (Creators from abroad)
Activity BasedBasel
City Tokyo
Period2022.5 - 2022.7
Purpose of the residency

The project I want to develop in Tokyo consists of researching and experimenting with the notions of visibility and invisibility and how it articulates our appreciation of what is considered valuable or important. This relates to a central question in my practice, concerned with the potential ambiguity or polyvalence inscribed in a given quality, situation, role, or function. The aim will be focused on investigating and experimenting with the qualities of the visible-invisible as inscribed in a highly structured and codified manifestation of Japanese culture: I see in the traditional Nō and Kabuki theater and –more specifically– in the figure of the kuroko, outstanding vessels to explore theses aspects, and its relation with centrality/periphery, value, and how it impacts our perceptions and behaviors, thus in the functional-oriented construction we make of reality.

Plan during the residency
  • Assist to a Nō play and/or to a Kabuki play.
  • Study the structure and composition of stage elements of the play and the role of the Kuroko.
  • Conduct one or several interviews with one or more Kurokos and video record them.
  • Visit and if possible interview people doing the garments/costumes, the stage design, and the actors doing the masks.
  • Establish contacts and search for possible locations to produce a future “altered” Nō play.
Activities during the residency

My project in Tokyo dealt with the role that invisibility plays within what is considered important and in what is presented to be seen, within the highly structured and codified manifestations of Japanese traditional performing arts of Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku, and focuses on the enigmatic figures of Kuroko, Koken and the Noh mask. During the time of residency at TOKAS, I attended various performances, studied their structure, conducted interviews with specialists, interpreters, and performers, learned specific skills, and met future collaborators, settling the grounds for the second stage of the project. 

Outcome of the residency

As mentioned above, I was able to establish very interesting and stimulating contacts that allowed me to learn about and refine my subject of investigation. At the same time, I sincerely believe that 3 months is too short of a time to get in contact with such a rich, complex and different culture -and the subsequent amount of new information- to somehow metabolize it, and to simultaneously, find the right people and paths to explore, get to a depth of understanding of the concepts to investigate, and deliver results. In the future, I plan to do an “altered Noh play”. It will be a large performatic project, that will showcase several aspects of expression (i.e. costume design, music, light, stage design, etc) and in which collaboration will play an important role.
I would have liked to go to more venues and museums and to have time to meet more local artists.

Open Studio view 2022

training view 2022

mask learning progress 2022, unfinished piece, Japanese cedar wood

masked ensemble 2022

Kuroko countersuit, wearable piece 2022
transparent fabric, variable dimensions

Katagami mask 2022
air-dry clay, 22 x 17 x 8 cm 

Mask for a koken me mask 2022
air-dry clay, 22 x 15 x 6 cm

Mask for a koken void mask 2022
air-dry clay, 20 x 12 x 5 cm

Resonant work 2022
wearable piece, synthetic string, jingle bells 22 x 1 x 1 cm

Creator Information