Graphic Notation from the Harbor of Design,
Katsumi Asaba Exhibition (Exhibition work)
The black ships arrived in Japan in 1853, with Commodore Perry pressing for the opening of the Port of Yokohama. This event stirred up the entire country, and ultimately led to the Meiji Restoration. The year 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Yokohama, as well as the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall. Held in this context was “the Harbor of Design. Katsumi Asaba Exhibition,” under the direction of avant-garde composer, Toshi Ichiyanagi. In the 1960s, Ichiyanagi had brought John Cage to Japan, and introduced avant-garde music through concerts he organized at various locations. We were in our 20s, and the Sogetsu Hall was the central hub of culture at the time. We always made sure to catch the monthly concerts, and that’s where we encountered graphic notation for the first time. In the music that reverberated from the free design of graphic notation, I could feel the limitless expanse of the universe. As a centerpiece for this exhibition, I redesigned graphic notations by Toshi Ichiyanagi, John Cage, Earle Brown, and Sylvano Bussotti.