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Govett-Brewster brings Tokyo’s hottest to NZ

Media Release

23 April 2004

Govett-Brewster brings Tokyo’s hottest performers to New Zealand

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand’s premier museum of contemporary art, is pleased to present two of Tokyo’s hottest experimental performers - electronic music master NUMB & video-stream experts exonemo direct from Tokyo.

The artists will appear in Mediarena: LIVE, a live music and art performance event to be held in Auckland on 13 May, New Plymouth on 14 May, and in Wellington on 16 May in association with Mediarena: contemporary art from Japan, the largest exhibition of Japanese contemporary art ever held in New Zealand

“This is the not-to-be-missed art music event of the year for art and music audiences who are familiar with sampling images and music off computers but want to be taken to the next level in electronic art performance,” said Gallery Director Gregory Burke.

Exonemo and Numb, who were a major highlight of the events surrounding the opening of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2003, will perform solo and collaborative works in the major media and sound art event.

“Exposing New Zealand audiences to Japan’s artistic evolvement in this area continues Mediarena’s special focus on the high level of digital and interactive work being produced in Japan today. Exonemo and Numb will use multiple techniques including kinetic machinery and synchronised projectors to create a dynamic audio visual presentation,” said Mr Burke.

Kensuke Sembo and Yae Akaiwa are exonemo, a duo of Japanese artists who create experimental projects using the internet as an interactive exhibiting forum and basis for gallery installations. FragMental Storm 2002, an online interactive video projection that produces a multitude of visual images activated when a word is typed into a keyboard, currently features in Mediarena.

Exonemo won a major award in the .Net category of the Ars Electronica 2000 festival in Linz, Austria and their work appeared in the Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands. In 2001 they were special guests at the international Istanbul Biennale in Turkey with the installation Tanks.

“Exonemo have attracted world wide attention with their performances by sampling and manipulating imagery that creates a whole new sensory experience and mesmerises their audiences. Their ability to expand on normal VJ performance has prompted NUMB, who will perform with Exonemo, to rate them as the best in their field,” said Mr Burke.

Takashi Kizawa, the sound artist NUMB, mixes together a wide spectrum of electronic club music from electronica and techno to hip-hop and the high-speed electronic drumbeat of break-beat.

“In sound performances NUMB uses a laptop and MiDi to manipulate rhythm, volume and various sound effects to create an amazingly ambient performance,” said Mr Burke.

After studying engineering at the Institute of Audio Research in New York in 1992 Kizawa released singles under the label Karma and later Revirth. NUMB, the title of his first album, was released in 2002. NUMB has performed at music festivals in Paris, Amersterdam and Japan and in May 2003 released the live album TOKYO.

Mediarena: LIVE continues the extensive public programmes associated with Mediarena: contemporary art from Japan, which runs until June 7. The exhibition features artists working across a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, sound art and video.

Curated by Gregory Burke and leading international art curators Roger McDonald and Fumio Nanjo, Mediarena surveys art from the last 30 years in Japan, but with particular emphasis on art being made now. Leading artists who emerged from the 1960s to 1980s such as senior woman artist Yayoi Kusama are compared with younger artists working today like up-and-coming woman artist Tabaimo.

A major 128-page colour catalogue featuring essays by leading curators and artists on developments in contemporary Japanese art will also be published.

Mediarena is in keeping with the founding policy focus of the Gallery, which emphasises the art of the Pacific Rim, and fulfils an important objective of the exhibition – to increase cultural exchange between Japan and New Zealand.


AUCKLAND: 8.00pm Thursday 13 May Kings Arms Tavern, 59 France Street Newton NEW PLYMOUTH: 8.00pm Friday 14 May Govett-Brewster Art Gallery WELLINGTON: 8.00pm Sunday 16 May Indigo, 171 Cuba Street Wellington


AUCKLAND Kings Arms Tavern Tel: (09) 373 3240 Real Groovy 438 Queen Street NEW PLYMOUTH Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Tel: (06) 758 5149 Queen Street WELLINGTON Artikel 126 Wakefield Street Rex Royale 106 Cuba Street

Tickets: $15.00 at the Gallery and on the door, pre-sale booking fees apply.

Mediarena: LIVE is proudly sponsored by Asia 2000, Creative New Zealand, New Zealand Japan Exchange Programme, New Zealand Community Trust, and the Commemorative Organisation for the Japan World Exposition ('70).

Event support: Auckland: Video Collective, Version Wellington: While You Were Sleeping, Loop


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