A room of wonder | Tokyo

A room of wonder is a performing museum project that departs from the literal but torn meaning behind the word biography: a life that writes. Writing as related to tracing, to registering, to framing; biography as related to accumulation, collection of moments, images, and sensations.

Thinking about ways of saving one’s memory in this subtle struggle against disappearance, and at the same time involved in a private reflection on an artist’s ability to leave traces that can be experienced by other people, I came across the cabinets of curiosities, also called wunderkammer. These wonder rooms were private collections during the Renaissance, individual portrayals of the vastness and sublime of the world in a room. A devotional place, with no apparent rational categorization, but where the display was meant to produce wonder, to incite one’s own imaginative recollection of the world.

On our present days, the museums have become the guardians of mankind’s common history, where the categorizations have gained the force of the absolutes, however, the desire of making one’s own inventory of the world, one’s own collection of wonders, hasn’t abandoned us. Visible in the endless quantities of blogs and in the proliferation of virtual social networks, more than ever, the force of the inventory continues to attract individuals.

“A room of wonder | Tokyo” takes inspiration in these wonder rooms and invites a group of artists to the adventure of creating a collection of wonders and its translation and insertion in real time in an exhibition room for common share, with no limit of the medias used. A collection of their artistic trajectories, of their daily lives, of their belonging to different histories of art, of the scene, of their imaginaries and of their time. A collection of Japanese men and women, dancers, actors, sculptors, video artists, performers, working collaboratively across fields, helping each other, sharing tools and knowledge for the creation of one room of wonders.

Gustavo Ciríaco


Video links:

Through my eyes


Tokyo Collection


Megumi Kamimura (Dancer, Choreographer)


the way to let the space draw in

As a choreographer and dancer, Megumi is curious about how a body in space creates poetry out of position and dislocation. As a wonder, Megumi selected a quite ordinary experience, but one that has produced in her a sense of the sublime she was after. Everyday she would pass, in her daily metro ride, by a very open non-space, in the sequence of a typical Tokyoite urban landscape fragmented by layers and layers of man-made constructions. She remembers the sensation that produced in her. As an experience, the visitor follows instructions written in pieces of paper in certain points of the room. The fridge is listening to your breathing. The floor is seeing the back of your feet. Little by little, one is carried through the space until an open space is revealed. The vacant space is watching you.

Images and bio, here.


Daiske KINO-SHITA (Flutist, Composer)

Through my eyes

KINO-SHITA is a flute and contemporary musician, used to play from classical composers to experimental contemporary music. As a wonder, his very experience of playing and expressing through music at the same time as he sees the reactions of the people in the audience. Only he can see this. In a box, with a connecting tube hanging outside it, stands Daiske’s particular sound system. The visitors can produce any sound and it will become music. This way, while trying different sounds, the visitors make a short concert with the box for the small audience of visitors that accompanies them.

Images and bio, here.

Video: Through my eyes


Kento Nito (Sculptor, Performing artist)

Soft Impact

It was summer when I was a high school student, I tripped over during working in a high altitude. It was 6m high, the ground was asphalt. It was less than a moment until the fall, but my brain predict the huge impact that would occur to my body.

…and next moment…

Kento Nito

Images and bio, here.


Yoi Kawakubo (Photographer, Visual artist)


The bright side of the dark (2012)

Three years ago, I went to shoot the ruins of Dartmoor National Park in England. Covered in fog all year round, Dartmoor National Park is a national park bigger than Metropolitan Tokyo. To photograph some dolmens and stone circles, I left the car, and went into the fog relying on a map and a compass. During the shooting, I lost the way back to my car and started to wander the wetlands, while the night began to fall. I put a flashlight trying to avoid the looming darkness, but a cold fear was amplified further in the night fog. As the darkness become deeper and deeper and I lost the way back, and a cold anxiousness began to sting my mind and I slowly started to panic. Suddenly, a wild sheep appeared in front of me. Because of the fog and the darkness I wasn’t able to realize of its presence until it was surprisingly near. I was frozen and my tension reached its peak. That moment, I remembered some old words, and I turned off the flashlight. By devoting oneself to the darkness, one become part of the night, and then the darkness becomes the light. I stood in silence staring at the darkness. As my eyes started to adapt to the darkness I noticed that the surroundings looked like a seabed of ultramarine blue with pale hazy fog. When I realized, the sheep was gone. As I listened, the wind flowing in the distance could be heard. My fear was gone, and slowly a slightly shivering silence started to calmly flood my brain. It was a very beautiful moment.

Yoi Kawakubo

Images and bio, here.


Kae Ishimoto (Dancer)

I am here to be with you

A piece set in a slightly dark room with just one chair and one bed. When you enter, there’s someone on the bed. You sit down and hold hands with him/her. After a short time, she goes away. It’s your turn to lie down on the bed. Another visitor comes in and sits on the chair. A certain amount of time for each visitor. A simple experience between caring and being cared, about being in presence for someone. A situation designed to feel presence.

Images and bio, here.


Ryo Fujii (Visual artist, Sculptor)


All your fault

In childhood, I vaguely thought that no one had consciousness except me. Although it does not mean that I felt superior then, I remember that my friends looked like robots because I could totally expect how they would react and say. Nowadays I don’t doubt it any longer, but I still have a habit of taking too much objective view of anything as I did at that time. Sometimes I realize that I am talking about myself but sounds like talking about someone else, for instance. “All Your Fault” is a kind of performance which has a simple structure and I think when you get an objective view of the unreasonable situation and system, you can find the charm of this work.

Ryo Fujii

Images and bio, here.


Takumi Kitada (Visual artist, Sculptor)


Are you satisfied?

My father, when he was alive, taught me how to grind knives before he was going to undergo a big surgery. I was so impressed to see his movement to show me the instruction that I almost forgot to breath but kept staring at him. Followed by him I tired and showed him my knife, but he said “Not enough.” I tried again and showed him, his answer was “Not yet.” I tried once more, he said “No.” I kept grinding, and I noticed he wouldn’t say yes if I showed it in a hurry, so that I grinded the knife until I got to the point where I reached my best, even though I wasn’t quite sure where it was. Then I showed it to my father, he asked me, before looking at the knife, “Are you satisfied?” I said I was, then he said “Yes.” and moved on to next step.

Takumi Kitada

Images and bio, here.


Koh Sato (Performing artist, Visual artist)

(NOT)Dissolving Mood

A video maker, drawer, visual and performance artist. As chosen moment, a personal family tragedy. A loss that has endured and become the source, the unsolved situation and the core of his recent art practice. The Tsunami that took away his mother’s life, but which left, standing amidst total destruction, a tall tree. Devastation and hope. This cheerful young man, totally engaged to the project decided to chat and to have the participants draw their beloved ones and dissolve in water the copies of their figures. A conversational piece, between eminent loss and love for what the present still offers as shared presence.

Images and bio, here.


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A room of wonder | Tokyo is the result of a residency at Tokyo Wonder Site, under International Creator in Residency Program  (August-November 2012). The final exhibition was part of Tokyo Experimental Festival, at Tokyo Wonder Site – Shibuya Gallery, November, 2013. Earlier in 2013,  the project created and exhibited A room of wonder | Rio, with Brazilian artists at Largo das Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Conception & creation

Gustavo Ciríaco


Kae Ishimoto – dancer and performer

Yoi Kawakubo – photographer and artist

Daiske Kinoshita – musician

Kento Nito – sculptor, visual artist and performer

Koh Sato –   multimedia artist (drawing, photography and video)

Megumi Kamimura – choreographer and dancer

Takumi Kitada – sculptor and visual  artist

Ryo Fujii – sculptor and visual artist

Tokyo International Festival, November 15th, 16th and 17th, Tokyo Wonder Site – Shibuya, Tokyo, Jp.



© Yoi Kawakubo

© Gustavo Ciríaco

© Tokyo Wonder Site | Photos : Masahiro Nagata