Sunday, 16 September 2012

Japan - Where to begin?

Sorry it's taken so long to write.  I am just about getting over the time difference and my feet haven't touched ground since arriving last Thursday.  Myself and the other artists have been treated to a welcome party and various civic functions, including meeting the Mino City Mayor.  He was a well presented, tall man with a twinkle in the eyes behind his designer glasses and brushed back grey hair.  He appreciated my gift of a bottle of Worcester Sauce and various Worcestershire guide books:-)  It seems he is a bit of a cycling fan, which is great, because the Tour of Japan passes through the city, sometime in October.  I do hope I'll get to see some Keirn Racing too, in the nearby city of Gifu. We were photographed and interviewed, and yesterday, it was all published in the local newspaper - the photograph is sweet and I'll try and forward a copy.

I found out yesterday that the four of us were picked from 130 applications!  It was great to meet the main judge - a man called, Takeshi Shinohara.  God, he was nice bloke, a talented, (and apparently well respected artist in his own right, judging by Noriyo, my fellow Japanese artist's response).  We were taken to a beautifully minimal concrete gallery/house in Gifu City to see Mr Shinoharas work and discussed, over a coffee and macaroon our worthiness in the project.  I am still blown away that this man chose me over other applicant, I can't tell you what it means to have another human being, from another culture, on the other side of the planet select me.  We will visit him again, only next time at his studio in Kyoto....

Let me introduce my fellow Artists in Residence, Kata, Noriyo and Klara, receiving the robot bags I'd made for them, (Oh and that's 'MoMo Jan' the Corgi leaving the room!

Shinohara San, Kata, Klara Me, (In case you didn't recognize the big oaf in blue) and Noriyo

I will write more posts, as I am beginning to feel less tired; there is so much I want to tell you all, there are so many dream - like moments on this trip, you just won't believe some the things I've already seen and tasted!!

Love to you all, for now,