As cherry blossom celebrations take place around the world this year, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is taking advantage of the natural momentum for change and growth by hosting a 9-day festival that will bring together traditional and contemporary forms of art, music, and performance.
Mare Nubium (an ocean of clouds), the opening event, April 27, will feature a unique collaboration between renown Ikebana artist Yokou Kitajima of the Sogetsu School, Academy Award-winning musician, Yuval Ron, and Butoh dancers who will transform the space by weaving threads with their mouths. Meantime, one of the world’s largest Zen gardens will be created, with over 5 million pebbles raked to create puddles of raindrops.
Just as cherry blossoms portend spring, LA Bloom heralds the beginning of a new season for the JACCC, which is re-defining its role as a leading cultural institution. The Festival also shines a spotlight on the blossoming Little Tokyo community.
The concept for LA Bloom stems from a 16th century painting of a traditional Japanese fair. Based on this traditional depiction of a community bound together by simple, shared activities and time itself, Kosaka has curated an eclectic mix of over 120 artists, designers, and performers to bring Japanese culture to life for Angelinos. The underlying theme for the festival is the blossom or Hana, and the centuries-old Japanese springtime Hanami or “flower viewing” tradition.
“We hope to captivate people’s imagination with the ecoartspace,” says Co-Curator Calvin Abe. “The installations are meant to give visitors a three dimensional experience that will bring to life tenets of traditional Japanese art and culture in a new and vibrant way.”
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