one of the houses that still struggles to be renovated
Kameoka is a suburban city near Kyoto, with around 90000 citizens, many of which commute to work to Kyoto turning the place into a residential area with few prominent spots on the map — very much similarly to the town in Russia where I was born.
How does a commuter lifestyle affect a suburban area?
How can interdisiplinary approach describe a place?
How do drastically different locations merge in one's perception?
It is a city of mixed architecture: contemporary concrete blocks are neighbouring the cheaper 60-s housing and traditional 100-year-old buildings. A lot of the latter have suffered earthquakes and are still being repaired and renovated: these houses stand covered with distinctive blue sheets: the same material is use for hanami spring picnics.
a bamboo thicket by the field
The area is known for its agricultural business, and a large part of the area is surrounded by quiet fields filled with miscanthus and napa cabbage.
The residency participants came from a variety of backgrounds: photography, japanology, enterpreneurship, culinary art, visual art, illustration, music.
There were lots of opportunities for collaboration, from quite formal tours and visits to shrines to cooking together and nabe parties.
The house where I was staying was a 60-s building, with thin walls, a kotatsu table and a kitchen reminiscent of dachas in Russia.
This improbable parallel in my perception was amplified with an unexpected encounter with a tea ceremony master from Kameoka, who kindly showed her traditional house and invited us to the tea ceremony.
one of the oldest houses in Kameoka, kindly shown by the tea ceremony master, her bonsai composition and a khokhloma plate she brought from a trip to Russia
How do formal and informal images of a place differ from each other?
The similarities in the landscape (quiet fields, a river, a mix of buildings from various time periods), lifestyles (commuters only inhabiting the town at night — to sleep), house organisation strangely neighboured very distant locations, which became the fabric for the project.
one of the private gardens in Kameoka