Japonismes 2018 - Les lumières du Japon habillent la Tour Eiffel by Motoko Ishii & Akari-Lisa Ishii
Diplomatic Relations between France and Japan
From the Edo period (1603-1868) to the Meiji period (1868-1912), many Japanese works of art, such as Ukiyo-e and pottery found their way to the Western world in conjunction with the opening of Japanese ports.
Seen for the first time, this highly expressive art made a strong impression on Parisian artists of that time and the so-called “Japonismes” (interest in Japan) was born. Painters representative of the era, such as Monet and van Gogh, collected Ukiyo-e works, replicated them and added kimono motifs, creating a major boom.
Since then, not only has the trend been passed down in contemporary and modern art; Japan has also reimported works and a collection was formed in America. In this way it has had a worldwide effect.
2018 Marks the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and France. In May 2016, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe met with then-President of France, François Hollande. They agreed to hold a festival of Japanese culture and art, “Japonismes 2018,” in Paris, two years ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Near to 70 official events introducing a wide range of Japanese culture such as Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku and other stage performances from traditional to contemporary theater and dance; exhibitions of Ito Jakuchu, Rimpa and other Jomon-through-contemporary works and architecture; movies, manga, anime, festivals, food culture, crafts, and more are planned for the eight-month period between July 2018 and February 2019.
A secretariat has been set up by The Japan Foundation and preparations are under way.
Following the official opening in July of Japonismes 2018 and after the end of summer vacation, September will see the opening of a full-fledged culture season in France, with Japonismes 2018 and many events including the Eiffel Tour Special Light-up among the highlights.
For further information, please refer to the Japonismes 2018 website https://japonismes.org
SPECIAL LIGHT-UP OF EIFFEL TOWER
As the highlight of Japonismes 2018, there will be a special light-up of France’s representative monument, the Eiffel Tower. Known worldwide, the tower is located in western Paris on the bank of the Seine River. Built by Gustav Eiffel in 1887 to commemorate the International Exposition of 1867 held in Paris, this radio tower symbolic of France stands 324 meters tall and is still in use today as a radio tower.
It is said that carrying-out a light-up using the latest lighting technology since the time of the tower’s completion is like continually dressing a lady in a beautiful dress of light to be the face of night. In the past, color light-ups have been held in connection with French national projects and international events related to France, but there has never been a production with Japan as the theme.
This time, as one of the official events and highlight of Japonismes 2018, a collaboration of France and Japan based on an agreement between the two countries, Japan will be adopted as the theme for the first time and a special light-up of the Eiffel Tower embodying Japonismes will be carried out.
Points in special light-up
The light-up that is the highlight event of this anniversary project is a great opportunity to raise awareness of Japanese culture, and this is realized through the following Philosophies.
• Not only Japan’s traditional culture, but also its current technology is used in the artistic expression
• The performance will familiarize local visitors and tourists with Japanese culture, including those with
no particular interest in Japan
• For this reason, located in the capital city of the country to realize the light performance on the representative monument.
• Many people can see it for free
• And, while commemorating the anniversary of friendship between Japan and the country, transmit a
message of light to the world
Points of Eiffel Tower special light-up
• The Eiffel Tower light-up expresses the beauty of Japan
• This is the first time that the Eiffel Tower is being lit up for two nights event in an exchange event between the two countries.
• It is the creation of two Japanese female designers (mother and daughter)
• It is an expression of the latest Japanese technology
18 Panasonic large-scale image projectors
120 Stanley Electric special gold LED floodlights
1. PROGRAM 1 – LIGHT PERFORMANCE (7 minutes)
-1. Introduction: Contemporary arrangement of traditional music of the imperial court of Japan, to illustrate the sunrise on the Monument.
-2. Liberty: The Boléro composed by Ravel, the famous track created at the same time as the construction of the Eiffel Tower, played by Japanese instruments like the shamisen, shakuhachi, taiko etc.
-3. Beauty: Original composition inspired by Japanese sound to accompany the Japanese art projected on the Tower.
-4. Diversity: Futuristic composition, always inspired by Japanese music, using lots of taiko, yokobue (Japanese flute) etc., to magnify the climax of the performance.
2. PROGRAM 2 –SYMBOLIC IMAGE (3 minutes)
Piece of koto (Japanese harp) «Midaré (disorder)» created by Kengyo Yatsuhashi, a contemporary composer of Iris folding screens, our symbolic image projected on gold background of the Eiffel Tower.
It’s worthwhile mentioning that the year he died, Bach was born
Motoko Ishii, a world-famous lighting designer representative of Japan, and her daughter Akari-Lisa Ishii, active internationally from her base in Paris, have collaborated on numerous projects commemorating the anniversaries of friendly relations between Japan and other countries, producing special commemorative light-ups at the request of the local Japanese embassy.
Special commemorative anniversary light-up produced by Motoko Ishii and Akari-Lisa Ishii:
2008 <Project Commemorating 150th Anniversary of Japan-France Friendship>
La Seine — Light Messages from Japan, Paris
2009 Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations
Budapest Elisabeth Bridge Light-up
2011 Event Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Relationship between
Germany and Japan “Light Message for Peace”, Berlin
2013 Japan-China Friendship Year Commemorative Event
“Eternal Time-Space and Friendship for the Future”, Beijing
2014 Light Event Commemorating the 150the Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic
Relations between Switzerland and Japan “TRANJS”, Bern
2016 Light Event Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between
Italy and Japan “ COLOSSEUM LIGHT MESSAGES -Love to Humanity, Love to Earth-”, Rome