Available until 15 August

Takao Kawaguchi Selection: Un Certain Regard

River LinIs this Gutai?

Co-producer: Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab

Concept: River Lin (林人中)

Performance: Eric Tsai (蔡承翰), Chien Shih-Han (簡詩翰), Chang Yun-Chen (張勻甄) and River Lin (林人中)

Taiwanese artist River Lin presents Is this Gutai?, an online performance and lecture about Gutai—a pioneering artist collective and art movement active in Japan during the post-war period—which is followed by a conversation between River and TRU’s artistic director Takao Kawaguchi. In addition, a video documentation of Dancing with Gutai Art Manifesto 1956 presented by C-Lab (Contemporary Culture Lab Taiwan) in 2020 will be shared with viewers.

Artist statement

Gutai, founded by Yoshihara Jiro in Ashiya in 1954, was one of the most remarkable artist collections and art movements of post-war Japan, known for its pioneering, radical, performative and experimental approach to art making. As the Gutai Art Manifesto published in 1956 states: “Gutai Art does not alter the material, but brings it to life”.

Wearing lightbulbs, passing through framed papers, moving on mud, drawing with feet, throwing bottles of pigment and sculpting smoke on stage, the Gutai artists challenged the boundaries of art, choreographing relations between objects and the body, performing conceptual intersections between liveness and visual art.

The ways in which Gutai’s concepts and practice arguably charted the history of performance art and inspired a new lexicon for live art today is the point of departure for River Lin's concept in Dancing with Gutai Art Manifesto 1956.

Transforming the Gutai Art Manifesto into a score, and revisiting selected works by Tanaka Atsuko, Shiraga Kazuo, Murakami Saburo and Shimamoto Shozo among others, this project attempts to replay a series of actions, movements and happenings as expanded choreography—straddling painting, sculpture, installation, participation and performance through a collective research and rehearsal process.

River Lin

Takao Kawaguchi Selection: Un Certain Regard

Butoh, which began in Japan in the 1960s, has influenced many artists across borders and genres. For this series, performer Takao Kawaguchi—known for his bold foray into the world of Butoh with About Kazuo Ohno—has commissioned artists who have been inspired by the experimental spirit of this dance form. A program of rich performances that transcend the boundaries of dance/theatre/music/film and art, this series aims to explore what “Butoh” is and what it may become.
This program is filmed at the Former Hakubutsukan Dobutsuen Station, a historic underground station built in the 1930s by Keisei Electric Railway that was designated an “architectural structure of historic value” by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
In cooperation with Keisei Electric Railway


Photo by You-wei Chen

River Lin

Born in Taiwan, 1984, currently based in Paris and Taipei. River Lin's works span visual arts, performance and dance scenes. He has presented work at the Palais de Tokyo, the Centre National de la Danse, KANAL Centre Pompidou, Rockbund Art Museum and the 2016 Taipei Biennial among others. He has been curating ADAM (Asia Discovers Asia Meeting for Contemporary Performance) since 2017.