Zentai Art Festival Week 2016
Outline of the project
2 week ends of zentai art performances will focus on local zentai art artists of different generes to share their practices and its development.
This project aims to create a platform for artists and also non-artist to show their artistic work using zentai suits. It aims to expand the possibility and creativity of artistic creation and possibility of zentai art in Singapore.
Each day of the performance will focus on different gener, punk rock, sound art, dance, theatre, performance art and open call section for non-artists and students. The festival will curate artists and musician from each generes and work together to imlement the element of zentai art into their practices, for example punk musician would wear zentai to perform their punk music.
Zentai raises questions about human identity because it covers the face, the part of the human body that is usually used to identify people. This aspect of zentai raises the question ‘who am I?’ Zentai transcends man-made rules, and removes limitations on identity, particularly psychological ones. It can counter many of the social taboos in relationships between individuals. Under a zentai suit, concepts such as age, gender and surface beauty are removed. The mind wants to label, categorize and analyze whatever it experiences. But that is far from the experience of wearing zentai. A person wearing zentai by contrast translates experience through the senses, and emotion through bodily language.
People spend a lot of energy physically and psychologically on how they look. They spend time trying to look unique, different, decent, or proper, depending on what they are trying to communicate. Individuals make sure that they smile politely in order not to offend others, or in the hope of making other people like them. Inside a zentai suit, these types of concerns seem muted.
Because zentai reduces the senses, the wearer is more sensitive to what is on the inside than what is on the outside, allowing them to be meditative. It encourages them to be more conscious, aware and in touch with themselves.
Inside zentai, individuals are not separate from one another. Every individual is part of the same universal whole. Things that define a person’s sense of identity, such as ‘my hair’, ‘my skin’, ‘my thoughts’ or ‘my clothes’, just complicate things.
Wearing zentai raises the question of whether we really need identities and introductions in order to establish human communication. In this way, wearing zentai is reminiscent of childhood, when children encounter one another and start playing, without any concern or prejudice. Do we need to identify a stranger in order to understand if the person is of use or gain to us?
Zentai Art is an unique Singapore art form. Zentai art is rapidly growing in Singapore questioning the identity and the society. This art from will help Singapore to generate the creativity to make an unique identity in the community.
Process of the project
This production will engage more than 100 people performing. It will collaborate with artists to develop new zentai art form and also explore the possibility of its art form that doesn’t exisit in the contemporary world yet.
This project is a development from 2014-5’s zentai art festival held at The Substation/ Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore/ Japan Creative Center with exhibition/performances/zentai walk/ workshop and conference.
The project platform is envisioned to develop and export local art practices and ideas outside of Singapore, as a move to expand the knowledge of local arts to the world art community. Although Zentai is originally from Japan, to transform Zentai into an art expression is probably the first attempt of this nature had ever done, which will reflect the event as uniquely Singapore. In this way, it adds to the balance of consuming (imported arts) and producing culture (exporting arts) through contemporary art practices.
As Zentai is inter-disciplinary in nature and it will present a diversified art practices from artists of various disciplines. By doing so, it encourages new forms of multi-disciplinary art processes and conceptions related to contemporary art practice of Singapore as a whole. The project not only appeals to the general public, practioners and professionals, it is also an exercise to engage student communities from art schools as some of the venues are educational centres focused on the arts.
People who are involved
Yuzuru Maeda (organizer)
As an arts practitioner, my background is in music composing and I have gradually moved into multi-disciplinary practice encompassing visual art forms like performance art, video, installation and inter-media art. Art making to me is about human communication, our expression and understanding of our living and working environment. With this point in mind, art processes and ideas are introduced and shared with my audiences. To me, contemporary art practice is in a constant progression, new art disciplines can develop through the means of exploring technology and philosophical issues; hence my art productions and new collaborations are consistently presented in exhibitions, talks and workshops as a way to share my artistic processes with my audiences
How to reach audiences
This project hope to reach out to as much audiences as possible through the production process and presentation of the final work.
The target audiences for this project will include students and professionals from all walks of life. There will be discussion that art students and professional artists can participate, a mixed public audience made up of art teachers, critics and curators, design creatives, academics, corporate executives, tourists and the general public.
Our project publicity is manifold, through word-of-mouth amongst the local arts community, social media tools like social chat groups, internet blogs, the festival's website and a large database of online guest list. On top of this, our publicity plans include the print media, by distribution of flyers, posters and postcards in event venus, other art spaces and galleries, restraunts and cafes. We will also be sending out press release to the Singapore's press, lifestyle magazines, cultural event guides and travel guides.