The Japanese Culture Festival J-FEST will be held online for the first time. The program includes over 130 different events.
The new online format has made it possible to expand not only the dates and number of festival events but also its geography. A number of Russian and Japanese cities, including Moscow, Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Chelyabinsk, Togliatti, and Samara, will take part in J-FEST Autumn 2020. J-FEST Autumn 2020 is hosted by the Organizing Committee (chaired by the Embassy of Japan in Russia) in cooperation with Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
The website-map was inspired by Garage Square in front of the Museum, which has been virtually relocated to Japan for the duration of the festival. By clicking on the illustrations, users can join range of online events taking place in different cities.
J-FEST Autumn 2020 kicks off with a festive online opening ceremony on November 15.
Several film screenings are scheduled as part of the festival, along with a number of traditional competition programs dedicated to Japanese culture, including a karaoke contest, a traditional Yukata kimono competition, and one of the festival’s most exciting events—a cosplay contest on December 5, the closing day. For the first time in J-FEST history, viewers will be able to select their favorites via open voting. A concert by AUN J CLASSIC ORCHESTRA will be broadcast live as part of the J-FEST Autumn 2020 closing ceremony.
There will also be a number of teleconferences and round tables featuring Russian and Japanese experts.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will present the lectures The Art of Pause. The Architecture and Aesthetics of the Japanese Tea Pavilion: From Sen no Rikyu to Kengo Kuma by Anna Guseva and SANAA: The Art of Ephemeral Architecture by Anna Bronovitskaya, as well as the masterclasses An Architectural Model Made from Modules and A Pop-up Postcard with a Japanese Tea House.
The highlight of the festival will be screenings of a new production by the online project Art Kabuki, conceived and made earlier this year, when the whole world was faced with new challenges. The Japanese premiere of this spectacular theatrical show, featuring elaborate costumes, bright makeup, and expressive stylized movements, took place in the summer. The international premiere is scheduled for November 28 as part of J-FEST. It will be available only in Russia and exclusively for the festival viewers and participants.
J-FEST is the largest festival of Japanese culture held in Russia, bringing together national traditions of the Land of the Rising Sun’s and current trends. J-FEST’s key principles are authenticity, openness, and participation. As well as providing an opportunity to learn more about Japan’s culture and everyday life, the festival is a call to forget about borders and cultural differences. There are no artists and viewers in the traditional sense at J-FEST, with each participant equally engaged in celebrating the unity and intertwining of cultures. In 2019, over 122,000 people attended.
The organizing committee of the festival includes the Embassy of Japan in Russia, ANO J-FEST Center for Japanese Culture, Japan Art Rainbow LLC, and Hakuhodo RUS. The co-organizer of the festival is Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.