Aki Onda organizes TPAM 2017, an Asia-focused event dedicated to the arts

Aki Onda organizes TPAM 2017, an Asia-focused event dedicated to the arts
Ngọc Đại

At the time of its inception in 1995, the Japan-based arts platform known as TPAM originally stood for “Tokyo Performing Arts Market,” but the “Tokyo” part proved misleading once operations formally moved to the still sizable city to the south, Yokohama, in 2011. That geographical transition coincided with a new subscript reading “Peforming Arts Meeting Yokohoma,” and while conversations surrounding the creation and dissemination of art remain a dedicated part of the annual TPAM offerings (see: “TPAM Exchange”), let’s not act like there isn’t plenty to indulge that appeals to our more base receptive sensibilities. What would an arts conference be without actual displays and performances that aren’t limited to the musical variety?

TPAM 2017 is taking place February 11-19, and in addition to the aforementioned TPAM Exchange, Aki Onda, TPAM Director and virtuoso in his own right, is curating the TPAM Direction segment, which supplements TPAM Fringe, a self-described “open call program” for emerging artists to get their work in front of an audience. TPAM Direction will feature performances from Ngọc Đại, a Vietnamese singer/songwriter whose political critiques have gotten his work banned in his home country; Jen Shyu, an artist from New York who has somewhat eschewed her jazz background in favor of Asian folk-infused compositions; and Senyawa, a band from Indoneseia that’s all about combining past and present styles in wildly experimental ways.

The TPAM Fringe segment will feature performances from, well, Marginal Consort, for one, whose INSTAL. Glasgow 2008 release still exists in my raucous memory. The various dance groups scheduled all seem very worthwhile as well. Go here for the full list (and for more info on the program as a whole, obv).

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