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ASR at Tamparuli

Kota Kinabalu (KK). As promised with Eleanor from my last research, I’m here in Kota Kinabalu. I felt a little insecure because my emails were not answered until the last minute, but being able to finally reach the day before arrival was indeed Sabah-style.

Sabah (province). I wonder how many times I heard this word. As I’ve mentioned on Dec.1st, Eleanor is an artist who is co-managing an art space with a few other friends. I visited the art space the evening of my arrival.

To everyone’s surprise, the gallery was right in front of the hotel I’d reserved.

They were having a meeting then and I got to meet quite a number of artists at once.

Their artworks were being exhibited too. First I needed to remember their names.

Eleanor picked me up at the hotel 30 minutes passed the schedule every time (she taught me that was Sabah Time) and took me to museums, galleries, or cafes, always inviting another artist so that we could naturally start a conversation.

“So what’s Asian Sounds Research?” was usually the question that begun our talk, and I’d answer to their questions on our project. I met many artists and had all sorts of conversations.

Eleanor would tell me which artwork belonged to who, and that allowed me to slowly grasp each artists’ characteristics.

The artworks and the artists’ name were starting to pair up.

It was a small community with mixed genre, where music and arts were already side by side.

But they told me they didn’t have much chance to hear live music performance, so when they found out that accompanying Tadashi Yonego and I were both musicians, they asked us to perform someday.

It’s hard to explain Asian Sounds Research and “OPEN GATE” even in Japanese. It’s even more confusing because we use the term “research”. It’s always the easiest to first have people visit our homepage. Then they may still not completely understand, but are optimistic enough to say “It would be nice if you could do it in Sabah too.” Through researching, we yield ideas that prompt ‘happenings’ which are similar to an exhibition or a sound performance or an event. That’s why it’s important for us to physically be at the location and talk to the local community. This is created through my direction, myself being the director… That is some of what I’d explain to the artists.

What I do is direction, not curation ― is another aspect that is also hard to understand for people who’s not fully inside, but some of them grasp the air of it.

So many genres from all sorts of backgrounds, with different languages in common. At any rate, I was simply communicating with the person in front of me, receiving many hints and coming to a realization of my own “words” that I never knew I had within. Finally starting to understand Sabah with the four days of my stay, we gathered for our last dinner out in the nice breeze, and everyone was on time.

People I’ve met:

Eleanor Goh,Anddy Romeo Dulait,Harold Egn Eswar,

Jesse Joy,Howard Ng,Nadia Ilana,Adam Kitingan,Jerome Manjat 

KK、コタキナバル。前回のリサーチで会った Eleanor さんとの約束どうり、コタキナバルにやってきた。ギリギリまでメールの返事が来ず、不安を感じていたが、到着する前日にやっと連絡がつく、これもSabah 流。

Sabah(州)。ここに来て何回聞いただろうこの言葉。Eleanor については12月1日のブログで触れているが、彼女自身もアーティストであり、数人の仲間とともにアートスペースを運営をしている。到着した日の夕方、まずはそこを訪問する事になる。




毎回約束の時間+30分後(これを私はSabah Time と教えられた)に Eleanor がホテルに迎えに来てくれて、美術館やギャラリーやカフェを訪問、必ずそこに誰かしらアーティストを誘い、共に話をする、という形を彼女が自然に作ってくれる。

Asian Sounds Research って何なのさ、のような話から始まり、プロジェクトについての質問に答えながら、とにかくいろいろな話を様々なアーティストと話した。

さらっと「これは誰々の作品なのよ」と行った先々で Eleanor が教えてくれるので、それぞれのアーティストの個性がだんだん見えてきた。





日本語でも Asian Sounds Research や「OPEN GATE」の説明は難しい。下手にリサーチなどと言っているので、またもやややこしい。でもまずは web site を観てください、と言うのが早い。そしてなんだか分からないけどこの Sabah でもやれるといいね、のような話になる。リサーチする事によってのアイディアから展覧会ともサウンドパフォーマンスともイベントとも言えるような「出来事」を作り上げていく、だから私たちがここに来る事、そこの人々と話をする事が大切なのだ、と説明したり、そしてその作り方はディレクターである私がディレクションはする、と言ったり。。


ジャンルもバックグランドも様々だ、共通する言語もそれぞれ、その中で手探りでもとにかく目の前の人々と語り合いながら、いろんなヒントをもらい、思いもよらない自分の中の「言葉」に気づき、初めて会ってからの 4日間、少し Sabahというものを理解した最後の晩、心地よい風に吹かれながらの夕食の待ち合わせにはみんな On Timeで集合した。


Eleanor Goh,Anddy Romeo Dulait,Harold Egn Eswar,

Jesse Joy,Howard Ng,Nadia Ilana,Adam Kitingan,Jerome Manjat 

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