The deep green of the mountains nurtured by blessed rain.
Emperor Jimmu walked and paved the way,
Kukai opened Mount Koya, which became a place of pilgrimage.
The woods and seafood nurtured by the rich nature were brought to various parts of Japan from the port of Kinan.
In this land named, Kumano and Muro,
the gods were said to be holed up, and people were said to travel back and forth between this world and the next.
Since ancient times, Kinan has been a place where people and things come and go, and ideas and information cross paths under the divine chambers.
The hearts and subconscious minds of the people there have something in common, even though they come from different cultures and backgrounds.
At Kinan Art Week, through art, the events, people, and thoughts that intersect in this place will become an irreplaceable experience that can only be had here.
Inside and outside, past and present, people and nature, Kinan/Muro and the world.
Although it is here, it is also connected to some other place.
What will the new encounters that will occur in the Chamber of the Gods bring to us?
“Muro（牟婁）” which is the same meaning of the Kinan area of Wakayama Prefecture, takes its name from the words “Komoru” (Secluding to hide away and return to one’s origins, thereby experiencing a rebirth), and originates from “Chamber of the Gods”, and has a history of excelling at exploring the inner world, secluding oneself in the midst of rich mountain and forest resources. The religious beliefs of Koyasan (Mount Koya) and the Kumano Kodo are a source of tolerance and diversity in Japan regardless of status, religion, or gender, and have given rise to such visionary figures as Kumagusu Minakata and Rosetsu Nagasawa.
On the other hand, “Kinan（紀南）”, the southernmost peninsula of the main land of Japan, was once characterized by its “openness’”and fostered a culture of immigration together with the Kuroshio Current. Its long coastline and high-quality timber have resulted in the development of advanced shipbuilding technology which originated from ancient times, and it has played a major role in history as a base for goods transport and the naval forces. The first ships used in Sakai, Osaka were ships from Tonda port and used to serve as the starting point of the “Port” and cultural and economic center. However, in modern times, the origins of Muro and its prosperous “Port” have been forgotten, and through this activity, I hope to restore its historical and cultural assets to the present day.
Are ‘Seclusion’ and ‘Openness’ really concepts of conflict?
Our hypothesis is as follows;
“Isn’t locality the root of abundance in the world? Isn’t local and global essentially the same root? Only by taking a deeper look at the unique history and culture of a region, it probably is able to join to the global world for the first time.”
‘Komoru (Seclusion) : Muro’ = ‘Hiraku (Openness): Kinan’?
Is this above equation correct? Although ‘Kinan’ and ‘Muro’ are almost synonymous with each other, aren’t the concepts of ‘Seclusion’ and ‘Openness’ actually inseparable? It seems that ‘Localization’ and ‘Globalization’ are somehow separated by language, and they seem to have fallen into a divide. If you call it division, we can allow for it.
“We don’t have to aim at ‘global’ forcibly and easily. It should be secluded, but not before it is opened, rather it should be secluded.”
By secluding and re-evaluating the unique history and culture of the region, we will be able to connect with the global world for the first time. This is the idea behind our logo.
A world secluded and open GREETING FROM GENERAL PRODUCER
The unprecedented spread of infectious disease around the world has shaken our values. Because of this, I think we are entering an era where true value is found in simple and authentic elements with superfluities scraped away, rather than highly-decorated luxuries.
“Muro, culturally secluded, Kinan, culturally an open port to the world.”
This is exactly how Kinan/Muro could be described; one secluded, the other looking outward. Where one place is closed, the other could be open: two contrasting areas harmoniously coexisting.
Like Kumagusu Minakata, who was free to explore the world while staying true to his inner self, I think the world is looking for places like Kinan, Muro and Kumano. I think the world is looking for places like Kinan, Muro, and Kumano.
“Muro, soulfully inward” = “Kinan, open to the world”?
Is this equation correct? The areas “Kinan” and “Muro” are geographically almost the same. In considering this, could these completely different features of the areas “Muro, soulfully inward” (a sort of secluded heartland)” and “Kinan, open to the world (like a cultural port to the world) be seen as “equal”? Nowadays, “locality” and “globality” are somehow separated by words and seem to be divided. If we call it a “divide”, may we not dare to allow it?
After living abroad for a long time, I came to the conclusion that locality is the root of richness in the world, and that only by re-examining our indigenous history and culture could it be connected with the global world.
We don’t have to force ourselves to become a globalized world. It does not matter if it is closed, or if we should rather close it before it can be opened. It is only by closing and re-examining our indigenous history and culture in depth that we can finally join the global world.
Kinan Art Week, General Producer Yabumoto Yuto