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By Dexter R. Matilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:01:00 08/16/2009

Filed Under: Arts (general), Culture (general)

INTENT on showing art media and forms are equal is Vanini Belarmino. The Berlin-based curator and producer has been in the field of cultural management since 1990.

In 2007, she joined Walkscreen in leading the realization of the European Union’s art-for-peace project, “Challenging Walls,” for Israel and Palestine.

After the success of the project, Belarmino launched Zensors in May 2008 with the support of the Japan Foundation. It brought together Japanese new-media performance specialists and European photographers, dancers, choreographers and a classical musician to different cultural spaces in Berlin.

“Since moving from Berlin to Singapore, I have been inspired by a number of art initiatives that take place outside the so-called conventional artistic spaces such as art galleries or performing centers,” Vanini says.

“This gave me the impetus to think outside the comfort zone and dream of developing ideas that could involve bars, clubs, restaurants, cafés that are embedded on the Berlin cultural scene.
My goal was to create a platform that will allow artists to brave the unknown and engage the audience into a creative experience.”

Zensors Berlin was something new even for the forward-thinking European community. It became an experiential performance party, art installation and concert rolled into one, providing a glimpse to the marriage of creative energies, fragments of ideas and improvisations of artists Naoto Iina, Daito Manabe, Motoi Ishibashi, Kanta Horio, Fuyuki Yamakawa, Takayuki Fujimoto, David Canisius, Matanicola and Walkscreen.

It achieved its ambition of bringing media technology and performance side by side and the amalgamation of cultures and artistic disciplines over a short period of time. It lasted for less than 30 minutes.

Zensors Baguio

Baguio, which is celebrating its centennial this year, will bear witness to the collaboration among Filipino, Japanese and European artists through Zensors, on Aug. 21 at the Bencab Museum, Asin Road, km 6, Benguet.

Zensors will challenge the artists involved by engaging them in innovative creative processes despite their diverse cultural backgrounds and practices.

Supported by the Asian Cultural Council, Zensors will feature installation and visual artists Shunsuke Francois Nanjo (Japan/France); Mayumi Okabayashi (Japan/Germany); choreographer and dancer Chiyo Ogino (Japan); and filmmaker Nine Yamamoto-Masson (France/Japan).

The foreign artists will interact and collaborate with National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, singer Grace Nono, multi-awarded filmmaker Aureus Solito, musician Diwa de Leon and sound/installation artist Lirio Salvador.

Belarmino says audiences should expect something exciting and surprising from the artists. That is, after all, what Zensors is all about.

Zensors is presented in cooperation with the Bencab Museum, Cultural Center of the Philippines and Japan Foundation Manila.

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