Dialogue Exhibition at the Japanese Foundation

An exhibition aiming to generate discussion and debate in Cologne

July 23rd, 2019
Frankie Fraser, News from Berlin
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The “Great Sky” exhibition opened on the 14th of July and will run to the 31 at the Japanisches Kulturinstitut (The Japan Foundation). The exhibition focusses on dialogue, using table tennis as a means to try and get people talking. The idea is that through playing table tennis, with a court set up in the middle of the exhibition, a dialogue will be created between the two players. In doing so, the viewers of the work become participants themselves, with creating discussion the aim of the exhibition.

The two artists behind the exhibition, Christian Schellenberger and Hayahisa Tomiyasu, play themselves, seeing elements of their artistic work in the sport. Schellenberger primarily draws and paints, while Tomiyasu is a photographer, yet both follow strict rules regarding their work which they follow systematically. The focus of Tomiyasu is on the things he can see from his apartment window, with a table tennis court outside his window featuring heavily in his works. Schellenberger creates large pieces of work using repeated patterns and differing shades. To create their works both artists require a high degree of concentration and patience, skills mirrored through playing table tennis.

The Japanese foundation itself aims to promote Japanese culture across Germany, while also trying to generate spaces for intercultural dialogue. This pair of artists reflect this goal, with them meeting at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. They have stayed in contact ever since, becoming firm friends, in doing so, they encompass the goal of the Japanese foundation.

It is hoped that through drawing together two diverse artists and the presence of table tennis will create an area for discussion and debate, to allow people to exchange ideas and share opinions. The focus of the exhibition is creating this arena for discussion, with this a perfect illustration of cultural diplomacy, creating an easy space share thoughts and feelings.


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