- Born 1988 in Tokyo, Japan.
- Based in Tokyo, Japan.
Aya Momose creates movies and stage pieces that, through the act of performing, examine the communication imbalance, questions of gender and sexuality, and the sense of discomfort that all emerge from the gap between one’s own body in relation to others. Her most famous work An Interview with Mr. Kinoshita: Detaching the Voice (2013), first shown at her graduation exhibition at the Musashino Art University, continues to confront viewers with difficult questions to this day. Her more recent output includes video works such as Social Dance (2019), Born to Die (2020), Love Condition (2020; co-created with Mai Endo), and Flos Pavonis (2021), which are defined by their strong awareness of the invisible oppression and social norms that influence the tensions and difficulties arising when people or other living beings come into contact, cross paths, and feel mutual desires. In 2020, Momose presented Performing Acupuncture, which incorporates the eponymous technique from Chinese medicine, and continues to break new ground with works that combine the theatrical experience with therapeutic processes.
In addition to presenting her masterpiece Jokanaan, which has recently been added to the collection of the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aya Momose will also attempt a new interactive performance piece that will test the imagination and the ethical foundation of each individual spectator. The audience is invited to switch into an alternative state of awareness and be confronted with voices from those who are usually rendered invisible within everyday society. How well will the audience empathize and resonate with their demands and desires? Will it be possible to overcome the artificial divisions erected by our modern values and worldviews, such as caregiver/care-receiver, healer/patient, healthy/disabled, and to unearth the roots of desire? With physical contact having become quasi-taboo during the Corona pandemic, Momose stages an experimental performance that asks questions just beyond the horizon of the accepted, about life and sex and other things that are inherent in the process of living.
- Selected Works & Awards
- Performing Acupuncture, Theater Commons Tokyo ’21, Tokyo, Japan
- I.C.A.N.S.E.E.Y.O.U, ZIPPED Performing Arts Festival, Tokyo, Japan
- Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
- Artist File 2015 Next Doors: Contemporary Art in Japan and Korea, The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
- Voice Samples (solo), Art Gallery 1, Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, Japan
In a scene from the opera Salome, the title character turns to Jokanaan (John the Baptist) and dementedly pleads with him to look at her. Momose’s Jokanaan takes this opera as its motif: the woman, on the right seemingly Salome, and the man on the left, Jokanaan.
Yet the pair do not actually face each other as they sing. The man moves his mouth in time to the opera soundtrack, performing the actions of singing, while the woman is a computer-generated image created by using motion capture to digitize the man’s movements. In other words, the man carries within the emotions of Salome in the opera as he gestures, and the female figure on the right is created from accumulated data of these gestures. Despite this, the placing of man and woman side by side here creates the illusion of some tortured love relationship between the pair.
In this work, multiple elements–the opera vocals, the movements of the live human to the sound, the digital data of those body movements, the CG image of a person as visual rendering of that data–are reintegrated, albeit with some slippage. The effect is to interrogate where the core and emotions of a human reside.
Momose Aya deals primarily in relationships between means of communication/transmission such as video, sign language, telephone and subtitles, and body and gender, and the possibility and impossibility of communication arising from there. In doing so, she produces works frequently distinguished by a deliberate blending of documentary and fiction, spontaneous behavior and acting. Momose Aya’s practice could thus be described as a bridge between plastic art and performance approaches.
Recent exhibitions include New Artists Today: Contours of Life at Yokohama Civic Art Gallery (2021; Kanagawa, Japan) and Feminisms at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2021; Ishikawa, Japan), plus stagings of her performance piece Performing Acupuncture at Theater Commons Tokyo ’21 (2021).
- 10:00－18:00 (20:00 on Fridays)
*Last admission 30 min before closing time
- Mondays (except for public holidays)
- Venue / Access
- Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art Gallery (8F)
- 3 minutes on foot from Sakae Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijo Subway Line.
- 3 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.
- Mon, Oct 10
11:00 / 11:20 / 11:40 / 12:00 / 12:20 / 12:40 / 13:00 / 13:20 / 13:40 / 14:00 / 14:20 / 14:40 / 15:00 / 15:20 / 15:40 / 16:00 / 16:20 / 16:40 / 17:00
- 20 min.
- Japanese, English
･Door tickets for adults, and U25 cost an additional ¥500.
- Venue / Access
- Mini Theater, Aichi Prefectural Art Theater (B1)
- 5 minutes on foot from Sakae Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijo Subway Line.
- 5 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.
- This performance is meant to be experienced by one person at a time.
- Please come to the venue by the reservation time. If you are late, you won’t be able to join the performance.
- Some viewers may find the performance extreme. Recommended for ages 16 and over.
- Please contact Secretariat in advance if you are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or using a wheelchair.
For details (In Japanese)
- Performance brochure
Concept, Direction & Script: Momose Aya