A large Japanese youth choir from the Sendai earthquake area to visit Turku

A group of more than 70 members of Japanese children’s and youth choirs will visit Turku, the Capital of Culture, for a performance on 20 September. The majority of the choir members come from of the area of Sendai, which suffered the worst damage during the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The choir members will perform in a free-admission church concert, at various schools and for Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, who will be visiting Turku at the same time.

The choir is being brought to Turku by the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee, which supports cultural co-operation between Europe and Japan, including the European Eyes on Japan and Inner Landscapes exhibitions to be seen in Turku. The Committee has also been involved in supporting other Japan-related projects during Turku’s Capital of Culture year.

The EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee is an organisation founded by Japanese ambassadors to promote cultural mobility between Japan and Europe. Its operations focus primarily on co-operation with the European Capitals of Culture. The choir members will arrive in Turku with the Committee’s management, representing the very top of the Japanese business world. The group will include the Chairman of the Board of the Committee, Sadayuki Sakakibara, who is also President of Toray, the international conglomerate.

The Japanese children’s and youth choir will perform in a free concert in Michael’s Church on 20 September together with choirs from Turku’s Puolala School and the music-oriented Puolalanmäki Upper Secondary School, which are conducted by music teacher Timo Lehtovaara. After visiting Turku, the Japanese choir will perform in Tallinn, the fellow Capital of Culture.

Japan also seen in exhibitions

Launched in 1999, the European Eyes on Japan / Japan Today photography project has brought engaging photographers from various European countries to explore contemporary Japan through their work. To date, 50 such photographers have captured 32 Japanese prefectures in their own ways. The project is scheduled to continue annually and to eventually cover all 47 prefectures.

This exhibition is the thirteenth during the project, and it shows the results of Kalle Kataila's (Finland) and Krista Mölder's (Estonia) visit to Akita in 2010–2011. Exhibition, curated by Mikoko Kikuta, will after Turku be seen in Tallinn and in Akita, Japan.

Inner Landscapes is a participatory, multidisciplinary Finnish-Japanese exhibition project. The exhibition mixes ceramics, photographs, sound and video. It immerses itself in the layers of time through personal stories and album photos. Artists Marja Pirilä, Tomoko Kurahara and Satoko Sai have together interviewed nine senior Turku residents, some of whom live in the Portsakoti service home for the elderly.

The Inner Landscapes exhibition can be seen in Turku Castle until 25 September, after which it will be moved to Portsakoti and displayed there from 29 September to 30 October 2011. The exhibition has been produced by Nykyaika Photographic Centre, and partners include media artist Terhi Asumaniemi and nurse Ritva Muurinen from Portsakoti.

Further information:

  • International Youth in Concert, 20 September at 6 pm, Michael’s church
    Contact: Production coordinator Niina Helander, tel. +358 44 907 2212, niina.helander(a)turku2011.fi

  • European Eyes on Japan – Japan Today (vol 13) 21.9.–16.10., Governor’s House Läntinen rantakatu 1, Turku.
    Opening on Tuesday 20. September at 4.30 pm. Photographers Kalle Kataila and Krista Mölder can be met by journalists also on Monday 19 September.
    Contact: Production coordinator Tiina Erkintalo, tel. +358 40 514 9678, tiina.erkintalo(a)turku2011.fi
  • Inner Landscapes until 25. September at Turku Castle and 29 September–30. October at Portsakoti
    Opening at Portsakoti 29. September at 2 pm, Puutarhakatu 39, Turku.
    Contact: Production coordinator Venla Heinonen, tel. +358 40 809 5918, venla.heinonen(a)turku2011.fi

  • Projects related to Japan in the Turku 2011 programme

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