Dia Center for the Arts is pleased to present Noh Such Thing as Time, a project devised by Hiroshi Sugimoto, a Japanese-born American-based artist, with Naohiko Umewaka, leader of the renowned Japanese Noh troupe Umewaka. Yashima, the Noh masterpiece, will be performed by Dr. Naohiko Umewaka, one of Japan's foremost Noh actors and his Noh theater troupe on four evenings, October 3 to 6, 2001. Hiroshi Sugimoto will design and create the lighting, staging, and set for this production. This will be the only performance in the United States.
Originally an art for the Shogun and Samurai, Noh has a tradition that, in spanning more than six hundred years, offers a compelling dramaturgical meditation on fantasy and reality, past and present. Zeani (1363-1444), the classic master of Noh theater, whose texts often rose to the level of great poetry, offered two very different versions of Yashima: one "conventional," the other --daiji-- "important." The exceptional artistry of the latter makes it amongst the most esoteric of Noh plays. For Noh Such Thing as Time, the back screen --kagami-ita-- integral to the Noh stage, will be replaced by two large multi-paneled photographic works by Sugimoto titled Pine Landscape. A third work, a seascape photographed at the actual site where the battle of Yashima was fought in 1185, will also be shown. This set, together with Sugimoto's wooden stage, will be lit solely by classic Japanese candles, called warousoku, in monumental candelabra, evoking the forms of traditional productions.
Naohiko Umewaka, leader of the Umewaka Noh theater troupe, is the son of the late Naoyoshi Umewaka, who is considered a legendary Noh actor. Naohiko Umewaka trained with his father, starting to act at the age of three and playing his first main role in Tauchigumo at the age of nine. In 1995 he received a doctorate in drama from the University of London, where he now teaches as a visiting professor. He is also an associate professor in arts management at Shizuoka University of Art and Culture. Umewaka has composed, choreographed, and directed a number of new Noh plays including The Baptism of Jesus, which was performed before Pope John Paul II in the Vatican Palace on Christmas Eve 1988. His 1998 production, Lear, was included in international theater festivals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Perth, Berlin and Copenhagen. In addition to his numerous roles in productions staged by the Umewaka theater troupe worldwide, Umewaka appeared as Emperor Hirohito in the 1995 film Hiroshima.
Since the late 1970s, Hiroshi Sugimoto has focused in depth on a few select subjects, devoting decades to each investigation. Sugimoto's series of photographs, including Theatres; Dioramas and Wax Museums; Seascapes; Sanjusangendo, Hall of Thirty-Three Bays; and Architecture, evoke the tensions of nostalgia, mythmaking, and the imprecision of capturing a moment in time. Born in Tokyo in 1948, Sugimoto received degrees from St. Paul's University in Tokyo and the Art Center College of Design in California. His work has been shown internationally including recent solo exhibitions at such venues as Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2000); Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakysuhu, Japan (1998); Art Gallery of York University, Ontario, Canada (1998); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1995-1996); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1993). An exhibition of Sugimoto's Portraits can currently be seen at the Guggenheim Museum Soho (July 26-November 10, 2000).
Noh Such Thing as Time will be staged October 3, 4, 5, and 6 at 8 pm nightly at Dia Center for the Arts, 545 West 22nd Street (between 10th and 11th avenues), New York City. Admission is $45; $40 for students, seniors, and Dia members. Tickets are available by phone at 212 293-5588, on the web at www.diacenter.org/sugimoto, or in person, from September 12, at Dia's admission desk during gallery hours, Wednesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 6 pm.
Support for this performance has been provided by The Japan Foundation; Carla Emil and Richard Silverstein; and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco. Additional support has been received from Hiromi Yoshii, Gallery Koyanagi, Sonnabend Gallery, and Toraya.
Dia Center for the Arts
Established in 1974, Dia Center for the Arts plays a vital role among visual arts institutions nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects in nearly every medium, and by serving as a primary locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism. Its first major projects were long-term sited works of art not likely to be accommodated by conventional museums because of their nature or scale, created by artists such as Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd.
Dia presents a temporary exhibition program in its renovated warehouse buildings in Chelsea, New York. Supplementary programming in Chelsea includes commissioned artists' projects for the web, lectures, poetry readings, film and video screenings, performances, scholarly research and publications, symposia, and an arts education program that serves area students. Dia is currently constructing a new facility in Beacon, New York, sixty miles north of New York City, to display its permanent collection, which comprises in-depth holdings of many of the most important artists of the 1960s and 1970s. *
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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212 293 5518