Modern Art Meets Local Tradition on Sado Island

Footage of a live performance by contemporary maestro musician Terry Riley, within the picturesque scenery of Sado Island, Niigata, will be broadcast to the world via the Internet.


WordsPen Editorial

© Takashi Homma

Terry Riley, the world-famous artist, is participating in the Sado Island Galaxy Art Festival Project 2020, which is currently taking place on Sado Island, Niigata. Terry Riley is a composer, pianist, and vocalist, who, along with Steve Reich and Philip Glass, is a representative figure of the contemporary music world. The precious footage from this live concert will be broadcast on YouTube on 26th October as a DOMMUNE project – an art studio participating in the art festival .





The concert was held on 22nd September at Kitazawa Flotation Plant on Sado Island, Niigata. The Flotation Plant was once a gold and silver ore processing plant, with large-scale facilities considered ‘the greatest in the East.’ The site, which has long since put an end to its activities, has a mystic appeal, with some likening it to Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky. During the spring-to-autumn tourist season, visitors to the plant are entertained by night-time illuminations and projection-mapping events.

© Takashi Homma

On October 11th, Hirofumi Kera, the top hair and makeup artist for the cosmetics company Shiseido, and Snow Peak, the outdoor brand, will conduct a live performance at Shinbo Hachimangu Shrine on Sado Island. The performance will feature a collaboration with Kanroku, a puppeteer of the traditional Joruri style of puppetry from Sado.

In addition, the same venue is scheduled to host performances by the Japanese bands GEZAN and Ondekoza, as well as sets by DJ Quietstorm and Moodman.

This event is planned as a contemporary art show that combines the traditional culture and classical performing arts of Sado Island with hair and make up, fashion, and music.

Sado Island Galaxy Art Festival Project 2020 will be held across Sado Island until 11th October. Works by Charles Munka, a French artist residing on Sado, will be displayed at Haguro Shrine, which, surrounded by giant cedar trees, has a sacred atmosphere. In addition, works by Ethan Estes, a California-based artist and oceanographer, will be displayed in the boathouse at Lake Kamo, the largest lake in Niigata Prefecture.

At Ryotsu Port, the gateway to Sado Island, visitors can experience, in AR, ‘Springen’ – dolphin-themed works by metalwork artist Ryohei Miyata, the 22nd Commissioner for Cultural Affairs.

The Sado Island Galaxy Art Festival will be held on a larger scale in 2021. Terry Riley will be taking part again, this time participating in the production of acoustic monuments, in addition to creating music under the theme of ‘Sado.’