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Friday, May 12, 2006

Designing for life

Interactive workshops at Festa 23

Asia's biggest art event, Design Festa, returns for its spring installment to Tokyo Big Sight on May 20-21 when it hopes to attract 60,000 people to its 2,600 booths. Approximately 6,000 exhibitors from around the world will be participating in Design Festa Vol. 23, showing off everything from flower arrangements, live painting and multimedia art to photography and installations.

News photo
An exhibit at the Design Festa Gallery by artist Yoshiaki Sato (above); Suicide Squad perform on May 21 on the Outdoor Live Show Stage.
News photo

While previous Festas have tended to provide an outlet for students and up-and-coming artists to network with each other and sell their wares -- often arts and crafts and photography -- Design Festa Vol. 23 will have more of an interactive element, with several exhibitors holding workshops in which anyone can participate. These include a wara (dry straw) workshop conducted by a wara master; a textile workshop that will feature 15-meter-high knitted hanging textiles; and an illuminated sculpture workshop by a South Korean-based American artist. Also for the first time, Design Festa will feature a skateboard corner next to the Outdoor Live Show Stage where a halfpipe will be set up and be open to visitors to skate on (skateboards and safety gear probably not provided).

More familiar attractions at Design Festa are the Projection Space, the Live Outdoor Stage and the Indoor Stage. For this Festa, the Projection Space will show more than 50 films, including animations, silent movies and shorts. The Live Outdoor Stage will most likely feature Japanese metal acts of varying talent in startling visual kei get-up, while the Indoor Stage will host fashion shows, puppetry and other performances.

Design Festa Vol. 23 takes place May 20-21, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Tokyo Big Sight (West Halls 1, 2, 3 and 4, Atrium and outdoors), a three-minute walk from Kokusai Tenjijo Seimon Station on the Yurikamome Line.

One-day tickets are 800 yen in advance, 1,500 yen for both days; or 1,000 yen on the day (one day only) or 1,800 yen (both days).

The Japan Times has 10 pairs of tickets to give away to its readers. To apply, e-mail info_e@designfesta.com and write "The Japan Times Giveaway" in the subject box.

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