Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre

Happy Prince Fish

Inner and outer. Native and alien. One nomadic artist’s inquiry into ecosystems…

In autumn 2017, Yudai Kamisato heard a story from a fishing enthusiast in a bar in Kyoto about a situation that has unfolded in Lake Biwa for several years. In the lake, the foreign bluegill has greatly increased in numbers due to its aggressive feeding habits and high fertility, endangering endemic species and leading to the destruction of the existing ecosystem. A designated invasive alien species, the bluegill has now spread all over the country, though its original habitat was in North America. “Want to know who brought this fish to Japan?” the man asked Kamisato. The answer was a surprising one.

The thinking that separates foreign and native species as, respectively, something to be eliminated or something to be protected seems to reflect the recent circumstances in society that distinguishes sharply between inside (“us”) and outside (“them”). Is our image of so-called traditions and originality, as symbolized by indigenous species, really accurate? Would a lake actually transform into something beautiful if all introduced species disappeared? As Kamisato pursued his research on this subject, it became increasingly clear that the situation in Lake Biwa is not simply one of binary opposites like native versus non-native species, but rather one where various ideas interweave in a complex web.

Having long traced his own roots over various scattered locations, not least South America, Kamisato here examines the balance of ecosystems in the Japan in which he now resides.

Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre, Happy Prince Fish, 2019, Kyoto Art Center. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue, Courtesy of Kyoto Experiment
YEAR
2019
DATES
10.25(fri)-10.27(sun)
VENUE
Multi-purpose Hall, Kyoto Art Center
DURATION
100min.
LANGUAGE
Performed in Japanese with English surtitles
CITY
TOKYO AND KAWASAKI, JAPAN
CATEGORY
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Yudai Kamisato

Born in 1982 in Lima, Peru, Yudai Kamisato is a writer and stage director. He spent his teens in Paraguay, the United States, and elsewhere. In 2006, he became the youngest person ever to win the top prize at the Toga Directors Competition for his staging of Desire Caught by the Tail, based on a script by Pablo Picasso. In 2018, he won the 62nd Kishida Kunio Drama Award for The Story of Descending the Long Slopes of Valparaíso. His work as a writer has attracted increasing attention in recent years, with his play scripts appearing in the literary magazine Shincho and translations of his plays receiving performances and readings in such places as Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, and New York. He made his debut as a novelist with An Exiled Ball Boy, which was published in Shincho in June 2013. His work reflects his strong interests in politics and social conditions as well as explores the theme of synchronicity experienced with others you cannot understand. From October 2016, he spent a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on a grant from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and was also a junior fellow of The Saison Foundation from 2011 to 2016.

Okazaki Art Theatre

Okazaki Art Theatre was founded in 2003 to stage the work of playwright and director Yudai Kamisato. The only other current member of the company is the actor Masahiko Ono, though he is currently on hiatus. It staged productions at Festival/Tokyo three years in a row from 2010 to 2012. The company has presented work overseas many times, from Hemispherical Red and Black at Taipei Arts Festival in 2012 to +51 Aviación San Borja at Sydney Festival, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Belgium, and Festival d’Automne à Paris in 2016.

https://okazaki-art-theatre.com/

Text and directionYudai Kamisato
CastSumire Urata, Sayaka Shigemi, Yoshitaka Shimada
Set design and Lightingdot architects
CostumesChie Ohno
Stage manager and SoundAyumu Okubo (KWAT)
Lighting AdvisorYohei Sogo
Chief Production CoordinatorMai Hongo
Production coordinatorKinari Toyama, Reiko Hagihara (Kyoto Art Center)
In co-operation withprecog co.,LTD. Elegirl LTD.
Supported byJapan Arts Fund, Arts Commission Yokohama
Co-produced byKyoto Experiment, Kyoto Art Center
Produced byOkazaki Art Theatre