Proposal for Arts Network Asia
Asian Water/Art Channel (AWAC)

Ichi Ikeda (Japan)

First of all, in case of planning program of Arts Network Asia in 21 Century, we have to recognize that arts network linked with vague vision will be inefficient in creating ‘active flow’ pointed to the future. Hoping to keep weight on co-existence between various cultures in the world, we are seeking media for creating desirable combination between what’s called Commonality and Inherency. Through our long-termed research in multi-cultured world, we are surely reaching to the conclusion that one of media exploring culture in 21 Century must be ‘culture based on water’. Actually this century is often defined as ‘Water Era’, compared with ‘Fire Era’ in 20 Century. It is widely known that ‘water’ might be just a medium for combining Commonality and Inherency.

If reviewing long history of human kind, we can recognize easily that there has been two kinds of civilization proceeded by different cultures: ‘Civilization based on Land’ and ‘Civilization based on Water’. And, since the Industrial Revolution, culture in the modern age seems to be just in the process that the former civilization have overwhelmed the latter. However ‘Water Era’ in 21 Century are asking for restoration of Civilization based on Water which, you know, originated from Southeast Asia and spread to form water front all over Asia. One of commonality lying most ordinarily all over Asian region might be “Culture based on Water” “Culture symbolized by Water”. This will help us in imagining original common keyword beyond philosophy of European Modern Culture as appearance of ‘Civilization based Land’. Therefore I believe that most effective media for planning Arts Network in Asia must be ‘Art based on Water’: we call Water/Art. In process of pursuing this basic Asian philosophy, it will encourage us to find a clue for creating more active network pointed to the future.

Standing on the above-mentioned philosophy, I plan to develop art network entitled Asian Water/Art Channel (AWAC). AWAC must be just a flowing network for inspiring dynamics in Arts Network Asia. In order to create ‘flowing network’ in Asia, I myself have developed sustainable Water/Art projects pointed to the future entitled the ‘Arcing Ark’ in various cities in Asia; not only Kaseda & Mannnosegawa River in Japan, but also Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok and so on. Through these art projects based on ‘water’, I can describe the following approach towards creation of ‘flowing network’.
*to put respects on inherent culture lying in respective Asian country and to grasp this inherency as the source of ‘flow’
*to re-discover the inherent story predominated with ‘Water philosophy’ and to set up to Water/Art project which can be understood as art project pointed to the future

Meanwhile we can recognize that the performing arts must be most efficient in creating ‘arts network flowing in Asia’. Collaboration of the performing arts and Water/Art projects, you can imagine, will be one of the most active and innovative movements in ‘flowing network’.

I can notice that what might be more important in the next stage of ‘flowing network’ must be a image on the space for meeting the performing arts and Water/Art and for functioning each Water/Art project as the source of flow. I call it Water/Art Museum, though it doesn’t mean construction of tough structure.
*During the limited period (even though short period), we use the existing space (art space, art theatre etc.) to transform it into the tentative Water/Art Museum.
*Also, in case of installing Water/Art Museum tentatively, we construct it with peculiar materials in Asian culture like bamboo and woods so as to be able to move it into another space more easily. Water/Art Museum may be rather tentative, rather movable.

And as the third stage for creating ‘flowing network’, I must state about unique dynamics of network flowing between Water/Art Museums in different countries. The following movement will be expected:
movement—1 simultaneous and interactive occurrence
Water/Art projects developing in different sites can be realized according to the common subject simultaneously in country(A), country(B) and/or country(C).
(In 1997, hoping to create interactive flow, I realized the Arcing Ark projects simultaneously in Taipei(Taiwan) and Kaseda(Japan).
movement—2 along the flow (river or sea)
Every river/sea are flowing into oneness and then they will be just a site
where every participants including audience can understand easily the
significant commonality in ‘flowing network’
(I have realized various River Art Projects along river and sea sides in
Asian countries)
movement—3 meeting of the flow
Water/Art projects having each activities in different countries can meet
together to realize the forum of AWAC.

I would appreciate it very much if you could collaborate with AWAC.

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