Official Program

Roberta Lima

Embodiment of Water

AllVisual ArtWorld Premiere

10.6−10.21, 2018Auditorium, Kyoto Art Center


As rice grains lose their shape and transmute into sake, performances transform an installation

Roberta Lima’s practice focuses on her own body through work that questions the role of the artist and viewer. The media she employs is varied, including photography, video, and installation.

In autumn last year, Lima spent a week accompanying a female chief brewer at Shoutoku Shuzo in Fushimi, Kyoto, learning not only about the sake brewing process but also how she became a chief brewer. Long overseen only by men, women were forbidden even from entering sake breweries in the past. If we return to the actual roots of the craft however, women were originally deeply involved with sake brewing. Today women are working as chief brewers all over Japan.

Through this encounter, Lima came to understand the importance of water. What function has water played in communities in Japan? And how can water be used as a metaphor for resilience and to help emancipate women from antiquated attitudes? Embodiment of Water comprises of three performances staged in the same space as an installation, with contact Gonzo’s Yuya Tsukahara also appearing as a performer. The performances intervene in the space, changing the installation each time.

In Japan, a feminist revolution has already begun—not in isolated ways, but collectively. Lima is motivated by the desire to discuss these changes and also continue developing them.


Performance 1: The Ice Cube

Camera: Lauren Klocker
Music: Spirited Away (Roberta Lima and Cristiano Selbach Mix) by Beamon feat. Bones.

Performance 2: The Ice Chandelier
The second performance of "Embodiment of Water" took place on October 14th. At the centre of the performance was an ice chandelier. Environed by projectors showing videos of the sake brewing process at Shoutoku Shuzo brewery where Lima spent a week last year for research, as well as videos from the first performance, the performance started with intense music and dance. Changing with the music, Lima and Tsukahara shifted from dance to cutting the strings which hung the ice from the ceiling. The ice was strong and hard but also beautiful as it fell and caught the light.

Text: Nao Tsutsumi (Kyoto Experiment PR Ambassador)
Camera: Lauren Klocker
Music: For Monster Of Dr.Frankenstein by C.Memi

Performance 3: The Cloud
For the third and last performance 100kg of dry ice hung in the center of the space. Videos of the second performance were added to videos of the sake brewing process as well as to the ones from the first performance. Lima and Tsukahara stood still under a cloud of CO2 until the audience settled in the space. Following a dynamic similar to the worker in the sake brewery, Lima carried buckets of boiling water and together with Tsukahara manipulated the dry ice into producing steam. Lima opened the curtains, letting the daylight in, as the video installation started to fade. The performance ended when Lima and Tsukahara climbed down scaffolding and were followed by the audience. “The Cloud” is a metaphor for the ephemeral aspect of water and symbolically represented the end of the presentation of “Embodiment of Water” at Kyoto Experiment. The Cloud of CO2 guided the audience in leaving the exhibition space and expanding it to the outside of Kyoto Art Center.

Camera: Anna Wassertheurer, Roberta Lima, and Yuya Tsukahara.
Edited by Roberta Lima.
Music: Spirited Away (Roberta Lima and Cristiano Selbach Mix) by Beamon feat. Bones.


Ticket Prices (Performance)

Adult Advance ¥2,000 / Day ¥2,500
Youth, Students Advance ¥1,500 / Day ¥2,000
High School Students & Younger Advance and Day both ¥1,000
Pair ¥3,500 (Advance Only)
Robert Lima Embodiment of Water Ticket Set ¥5,400 (Advance Only)

Youth Tickets: available for those aged 25 and under.



Day Tickets

Same day tickets will be available for each performance at the venue box office one hour before the performance starts.
The latest information on ticket availability will be updated below at 11:30am on the day of each performance. We also accept ticket availability inquiries by phone.
Ticket Center: 075-213-0820 (11:00-19:00).



Roberta Lima

Photo by Alfred Morina

Born in 1974 in Brazil, Roberta Lima is an Austria artist based in Vienna and Helsinki. After graduating with a degree in architecture in 2001, Lima moved to Vienna where she earned a Master’s degree in Fine Arts in 2007 and her PhD in Philosophy in 2013. Thereafter she worked as lecturer and Assistant Professor for the Contextual Painting Class at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Lima focuses on her own body as the theme for her work and uses various media, such as photographs, video and installations. Her work also investigates space and appropriates aspects of different places and contexts for producing art and starting discussions on the role of artist and viewer. She has exhibited and performed internationally at festivals such as Wiener Festwochen and Donaufestival. In 2007 she was awarded the “H13 Prize for Performance”. In 2018 she was awarded Austrian Citizenship based on the merit of her accomplishments and contributions to the nation.

Photo: Tomi Kattilakoski. 2018. Courtesy of Roberta Lima and Charim Galerie.

Photo: Tomi Kattilakoski. 2018. Courtesy of Roberta Lima and Charim Galerie.

Photo: Tomi Kattilakoski. 2018. Courtesy of Roberta Lima and Charim Galerie.


Installation and exhibition design: Roberta Lima
Video: Roberta Lima
Camera: Roberta Lima and Lauren Klocker

Direction: Roberta Lima
Performers: Roberta Lima and Yuya Tsukahara (contact Gonzo)
Camera: Lauren Klocker
Lighting: Reiko Kawashima
Sound: Bunsho Nishikawa
Stage manager: Ayumu Okubo (KWAT)
Production coordinator: Haruna Hirano (Kyoto Art Center)

Research cooperation: Maho Otsuka (SHOUTOKU SHUZO Co., Ltd.)

Support by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2018 (Installation), Japan Foundation for Regional Art Activities [New Vision – Performing Arts / Gender / Society] (Performance)
Commission by Kyoto Experiment
Presented by Kyoto Experiment, KYOTO STEAM—World cultural exchange festival—Executive Committee

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