A Note of Yasnaya Polyana

Photo credit: Kanako Sasaki

Kanako Sasaki (Japan)

16 – 27 January 2013, 10am - 6pm
Gallery Theatre Corridor, Basement, National Museum of Singapore

Admission is free

kanakosasaki.com Biography of Kanako Sasaki

Watch a video of Kanako Sasaki saying hello to the Fringe!

(World Premiere)

In March 2011, a massive earthquake hit Japan, and recovery is still in progress to fight through the immense devastation caused by the disaster. A Note of Yasnaya Polyana is Japanese artist Kanako Sasaki's response to the tragedy, her artistic contribution to the relief effort.

This video work depicts a historical meeting between Japanese writer Roka Tokutomi and Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy during Meiji-era Japan's infatuation with Western literature and culture. Staged as a traditional theatre play in Kabuki style, its dreamlike, multi-layered narrative revolves around a small teahouse that serves as a microcosm holding all there is together – disaster and time.

Through the morphing of history and time, remembering and dis-remembering, between wakefulness and slumber, A Note of Yasnaya Polyana evokes hope and optimism in its viewers, despite the dire reality before them.

Relationship to Art & Entertainment

“In Japanese, the word Ukiyo (floating world) expresses the idea that there is death ahead of us, but why not entertain ourselves whilst we are here? Ukiyo is therefore an ancient motto of the way of life.

“My work portrays harsh reality in a humorous way to give more hope. I believe that the essence of comedy can revert the negative to positive, and allow us to be able to move forward. My work has to entertain the viewers - it might look surreal, but anything is possible!”
— Kanako Sasaki

“In this world everything is a source of interest. And yet just one step ahead lies darkness. So we should cast off all gloomy thoughts about our earthy lot and enjoy the pleasures of snow, moon, flowers and autume leaves and drinking wine; living our lives like a gourd bobbing buoyantly downstream. This is the floating world.”
— novels of c. 1665, Ukiyo monogatari, “Tales of the Floating World”