The Mixed Bathing World Executive Committee (*) based in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, Japan, has begun a new art project, “ALTERNATIVE-STATE,” envisioning improvement in the city’s brand loyalty. The first work by Sarkis is now on view, and the second work by Michael Lin will be completed in March 2023. The plan is to invite artists from among promising young artists to international virtuosos for the purpose of producing eight public works over four years. Through the entire project, the committee aims to make Beppu even more attractive as a place where visitors can enjoy art and sightseeing whenever they visit, changing the stereotype notion that “onsen” (hot spring) is the city’s only attraction.
(*) The Mixed Bathing World Executive Committee is an organization that has been engaged in regional revitalization through art and culture, with the aim of multicultural coexistence.
Venue: Various locations in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture
Host: Mixed Bathing World Executive Committee
Interpreting characters used to describe Beppu as “alternate city,” ALTERNATIVE-STATE envisions the city as not only a physical place but an idea that includes imaginary spaces and situations. Just as pressing the “alt” key allows users to access alternate functions or characters not typically assigned to the keyboard, the artwork in ALTERNATIVE-STATE transports visitors to a different world and state of being. It is an invitation into a regenerated world — a new proposal for how to relate to the city.
First work by Sarkis: https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/attach/202302273286-O3-6g981w73.pdf
Second work by Michael Lin to be completed in March 2023
The second work “Onsenbouquet” is by Michael Lin, an internationally acclaimed artist based in Taipei and Brussels. He is known for his technique of using patterns and motifs rooted in people’s daily lives to create huge paintings in public spaces that make the viewer a part of them. While researching the city of Beppu, he found inspiration in floral patterns of yukata, or summer kimonos, and patterns of tiles used on building exteriors and inside public baths. Those patterns will spread from public to private spaces in various parts of the city, appearing in a variety of media and scales.
– Mural project
With the help of local emerging artists and students, a large mural will be installed on the western wall of Bluebird Hall, which houses the historic movie theater.
Opening date (tentative): March 25, 2023
– Poster project
Some designated walls will be covered with 11 different posters like “wild posting” (street poster) campaigns. Also, a private residence, selected through an open call, will be one of the venues. Posters will be widely distributed to local stores and the community.
Opening date (tentative): March 16, 2023
Artists’ biographies: https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/attach/202302273286-O4-ds0eiA07.pdf
Source: Mixed Bathing World Executive Committee