• 高架下商店街のモノクロ写真
  • 新開地タウンのモノクロ写真
  • 神戸港のモノクロ写真

アート・プロジェクト KOBE 2019:TRANS-


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Director’s Statement

Located between a beautiful mountain range and the sea, the port city of Kobe is known for its acceptance of foreign culture. Although people enjoy a peaceful life in this comfortable area, hasn’t the city unwittingly lost sight of its enterprising spirit? TRANS- is an art project that sets out to “transcend and move beyond” at a time when Kobe, which is slowly falling behind the times, should be at the vanguard of glocal cities. This project clearly differs from the succession of art festivals that have been held around the world in recent years in that its scope is limited to a very few artists. Moreover, we have deliberately avoided using a museum or exhibition facility as the primary venue. Artists do not simply make works to decorate a place. They create mechanisms using the town and people of Kobe as materials. These strange entities abruptly appear in ordinary landscapes. How will people encounter and respond to these things?

The venues for this project, Hyogo Port, Shinkaichi, and Shin-Nagata, are areas with historical links to Kobe that are located west of the urban districts of Sannomiya and Motomachi. Long before the present-day port was built, the harbor was established by the 12th century military leader Taira no Kiyomori. In the Edo Period (1603-1868), the harbor, known as Hyogo no Tsu, flourished as a commercial entryway to the region. Then in the Meiji Period (1868-1912), these areas prospered due to the development of heavy industries. Following a series of changes in the urban structure and the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, much of the life went out of Kobe and these areas inevitably began to decline. But it was precisely for this reason that the town became an attractive motif or material for a certain type of artist.

Gregor Schneider was born in Rheydt, a small town in northwestern Germany with a population of less 15,000 people. Despite his urge to leave, Schneider continues to use the town as his artistic base. He is particularly adept at adding an imperceptible twist to the private space of a house and the normal flow of time, and evoking invisible terror. Meanwhile, Miwa Yanagi, who has created extraordinary theatrical spaces in the closed world of photography, turned to full-fledged drama productions in 2011. Two years ago, she used a mobile trailer to stage an outdoor production called The Wing of the Sun. Next fall, Yanagi is planning to mount a spectacular marine production at the port in her hometown of Hyogo Ward, Kobe.

How will the two artists’ audacious efforts influence the future direction of Kobe? Expectations are high.

Sumi Hayashi
(TRANS- Director)
October 2018

  • Period2019.9.14 Sat. - 11.10 Sun. *Each exhibit venue will determine closing times & holidays
  • OrganizerTRANS-KOBE Organizing Committee / Kobe City
  • DirectorSumi Hayashi
TRANS-KOBE Organizing Committee
TRANS-KOBE Organizing Committee

Executive Advisors
Takahisa Kato (Chair, Kobe Arts and Culture Conference)
Kizo Hisamoto (Mayor of Kobe)

Organizing Committee Chair
Koji Hattori (Chair, Kobe Cultural Foundation)

Planning Advisor
Takashi Serizawa (Executive Director, Design and Creative Center Kobe)

Sumi Hayashi (Independent Curator)

Public Relations Director
Yoshihiko Yamasaka (Creative Director, MAQ Inc.)

Organizing Committee Members
Iku Otani (Executive Producer, Kobe Art Village Center)
Yukimasa Otani (Executive Director, Kobe City Museum)
Kenji Okada (Director General, Citizen Participation Promotion Bureau, Kobe City Government)
Yukio Obata (Deputy Director, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art)
Hisao Kato (Director, Nagata Ward, Kobe City Government)
Yoshihiro Kishimoto (Professor, Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University)
Ryuichiro Kobayashi (Director, Hyogo Ward, Kobe City Government)
Masahiko Sodeyama (General Manager, Aeon Mall Kobe Minami)
Shinichi Tabuchi (Producer & Manager, Event Planning & Promotion Department, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Inc.)
Kazuo Fujino (Professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University)
Takeshi Matsuoka (Chief Editor, Cultural News Department, Editorial Office, The Kobe Shimbun)
Ryozo Yamamoto (President, Hyogo Arts & Culture Association)

Yoshio Shimizu (Tax Accountant)
Nobuya Nakajima (Lawyer)
  • Contact
  • TRANS-KOBE Organizing Committee
  • c/o Kobe Cultural Foundation
  • 4-2-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, JAPAN 650 0017
  • Tel:+81 (0)78-361-7105 / Fax:+81 (0)78-351-3121
  • info@trans-kobe.jp


Gregor Schneider


Born in Rheydt, Germany in 1969. At the age of 16, Schneider started working on Haus u r, a life-time project in which he renovated his own house by constructing a room within an existing room. At the 2001 Venice Biennale, he represented Germany and won the Golden Lion. Since then, he has been working on large-scale installations that induce unrealistic experiences of distorted time and space; for instance, by building a road standing straight up like a façade as an entrance of an Indian temple, or by stretching big water pipes in and out of the museum in Spain like a maze. He also participated in the Yokohama Triennale(2014), Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017), and many other international art festivals. Schneider is a professor at Kunstakadmie Düsseldorf and lives in Rheydt.

7 Trans-Stations Kobe 2019

The key medium of Gregor Schneider’s creative practice is the installation of rooms inside similar pre-existing rooms, the doubling of rooms, people and objects, the reconstruction of a building he cannot attain. His best-known work is the installation of 24 rooms of his Haus u r in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 2001.

Over the course of thirty years, Gregor Schneider has created a body of work that touches upon some of society’s most sensitive sore spots. In the beginning of his career, he developed the concept of an artistic practice that devours its own products, thereby questioning the subjection of art to economic necessity. Later, he saw parallels between the secret, antiseptic high-security detainee cells of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp with the ‘white cube’ of museums and galleries.

7 Stations takes the viewer on a largely city-tour with stops at the key stations of Schneider’s work. At the end of the journey, visitors find themselves in a rotting, mud-filled weather-exposed room, Schneider’s ideal museum space.

Experiences affect all the senses and are based on an unfathomable world.

[Reference works]

u r 10 コーヒールーム 1993年
u r 10, 1993, rotating room within a room, plaster boards and chipboards on a wooden construction with posts and wheels, 1 engine, 2 doors, 1 window, 1 lamp, 1 cupboard, grey wooden floor, white walls and ceiling, detached, ca. 35 - 105 cm distance to the outer room, window looking south
© Gregor Schneider / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn
ボンディ・ビーチ、21のビーチ・セル 2007年
Bondi Beach, 21 Beach Cells, 2007, metal mesh, air mattress, sunshade, garbage bag
© Gregor Schneider / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn

Miwa Yanagi

やなぎ みわ

Born in Hyogo ward, Kobe in 1967. Yanagi completed a postgraduate course in fine art at the Kyoto City University of Arts. With her photographic series of works employing computer graphics and special-effect makeup, such as Elevator Girls and My Grandmothers, she strives to provide insight into issues surrounding women such as youth and aging. She represented Japan at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Since 2011, she has begun undertaking projects in theatre and has staged a theatrical production of Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose's Tape both in Japan and oversea. At the Port City Kobe Art Festival in 2017, she presented a stage trailer, a vehicle that tows a container that turns into a stage, used for an open-air-performance of the play Nichirin no Tsubasa (The Wing of the Sun). Yanagi is a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design and lives in Kyoto.

An Encounter on the Sea

Outdoor theatre has the power to reassemble things that have been scattered in pieces by the passage of history. After a momentary encounter at the festival, everything separates again. And just as we feed off the power of nature on stage, we are also subject to natural phenomena. There are storms that cannot be driven away by the power of human will, but there are also tranquil nights when the moon is full. Since ancient times, people have built boats, crossed the sea, migrated, and traded. Imagining a place somewhere beyond the horizon and pricking up our ears to hear the voices of those who descended into the ocean directly beneath us creates a spontaneous link between the past and the future.

A stage performance on the sea will undoubtedly transcend time and space.

A festival in which everything becomes one and contemporary art in which individual things exist separately are polar opposites. At first glance, this state of coming and going – this “trans” – might seem contradictory, but I believe that this enriches art.

[Reference works]

《川中島》 2016年
Kawanakajima, 2016, digital print
© 2018 Miwa Yanagi

Outdoor play, Nichirin No Tsubasa (The Wing of the Sun) , 2016
© 2018 Miwa Yanagi