Murugan and Rajinikanth 7

Muruganikku Arohara! Thalaivar Vallha!

In my performances at the Singapore Biennale 2016/2017, I made an offering to of cut mango to Murugan and to Rajinikanth. This was the second of a series of performances in which I have made post-traditional ritual offerings – coconut at the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, mango at the Burning Man Festival, Mango Dango (dumplings) in , Courtyard Hiroo, Tokyo and Black Grass Jelly in Bangkok and limes and kueh pauh dilayang in Lumut. Amongst the deities and spirits invoked Lord Murugan, Lord Krishna, Momotaro San, Phra Rahu, Phra,Hanuman and all manner of Sial Jambalang.

Tokyo 11 May

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Hiroyoshi Takeda, Shinji Kashima and I about to go on stage to perform my Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition  at Courtyard Hiroo Gallery, on 11th May 2018. (It was as if we had our own early Kaala opening!!) In this installation/ performance I developed my on-going theme of the mango in Indian mythology while engaging with Japanese myth and traditions via of the legend of Momotaro (the Peach Boy). During the performance, I presented an antique Momotaro doll and develop an association between Indian and Japanese symbolism centered on the substitution of the peach for the mango.

 

Kabali Da! 4

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Like our Thailavar Tun Dr Mahathir, I too am back (in a much more modest way of course!) I AM BACK IN JAPAN after about 20 years .. On my first trip in 1998, I saw our Rajinikanth beaming down at me from a cinema hoarding .. and thus was the seed sown that has flowered into the Koboi Balik Kampung roadshow that I am now taking round the world! I used to be a regular visiter to Japan in the late 1990’s under the auspices of the Japan Foundation and the Fukuoka Art Museum and I am really happy to be back here for Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition. Please come … all are welcome!

カウボーイとインディアンズ:東京版

コートヤード HIROO:2018年5月11日午後7
〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布4-21-2
Courtyard HIROO : 7pm 11th May 2018
4-21-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031 JAPAN
Tel. +81-3-6427-1185     info@cy-hiroo.jp

Image: https://www.facebook.com/niranjan.rajah/timeline/story?ut=60&wstart=0&wend=1527836399&hash=2187518281479683616&pagefilter=3

カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版

tokyotower
カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版
コートヤード・ヒロ: 2018年5月11日午後7
〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布 4-21-2
Courtyard Hiroo: 7pm 11th May 2018
4-21-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031 JAPAN
Tel. +81-3-6427-1185     info@cy-hiroo.jp

The Koboi Project is series of a photo-conceptual performances, involving photographic images, traditional icons, story telling, collaboration and conviviality. For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition at Courtyard Hiroo, Niranjan Rajah will present an 18ft banner of Tamil movie SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth and an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company. He will make an offering to the SUPERSTAR, to Momotaro-san and then, to one member of the audience. The visionary film critic and promoter Fumio Furuya (a.k.a. Jun Edoki), who is responsible for introducing Rajinikanth to Japan, has accepted an invitation to attend as an honoured guest. A scaled down version of the performance will be taken around the city for a series of impromptu interventions between the 7th and the 10th of May 2018, starting in Nishi-Kasai, Tokyo’s Little India. Niranjan will be accompanied by: Hiroyoshi Takeda – Autokaran, Chef; Tara Rajah – Cello; Jane Frankish – Poems on the Megaphone; Mikan Bindu (leader and choreographer) Hiroyoshi Takeda, Shinji Kashima, Hiroyo Yamaguchi, Saki Ito, Emiko Sawada, Yumiko Honda, Shinya Asanuma – SANDOSHAM Indian Movie Dance; Durga Rajah – Photography. For more information please visit: https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/momo

端午の節句 (Tango No Sekku)

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Today is May 5th, which is the Tango No Sekku holiday. It was celebrated as ‘boys day’ in Japan throughout the centuries, embodying the Japanese martial tradition of grooming boys into men. It involve various symbols of samurai armour and weaponry and Koinobori, the fabric carp streamers are flown throughout the land. The picture above was taken today in Nishi-Kasi, Edogawa Ward, Tokyo. Boys day is also the occation for the celebration of Momotaro, the Peach Boy. As part of the 2nd edition of the Cowboys and Indians series  at Courtyard Hiroo Gallery, Tokyo,  I will present an installation/ performance around my on-going theme of the mango and the Indian myths that give meaning to this wondrous fruit. I will engage with Japanese traditions via of the legend of Momotaro. During the performance, I will present an an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company and I will develop an association between Indian and Japanese symbolism centered on the substitution of the peach for the mango.

カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版

Autokaran

カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版
コートヤード・ヒロ: 2018年5月11日午後7
〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布 4-21-2
Courtyard Hiroo: 7pm 11th May 2018
4-21-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031 JAPAN
Tel. +81-3-6427-1185     info@cy-hiroo.jp

The Koboi Project is series of a photo-conceptual performances, involving photographic images, traditional icons, story telling, collaboration and conviviality. For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition at Courtyard Hiroo, Niranjan Rajah will present an 18ft banner of Tamil movie SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth and an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company. He will make an offering to the SUPERSTAR, to Momotaro-san and then, to one member of the audience. The visionary film critic and promoter Fumio Furuya (a.k.a. Jun Edoki), who is responsible for introducing Rajinikanth to Japan, has accepted an invitation to attend as an honoured guest. A scaled down version of the performance will be taken around the city for a series of impromptu interventions between the 7th and the 10th of May 2018, starting in Nishi-Kasai, Tokyo’s Little India. Niranjan will be accompanied by: Hiroyoshi Takeda – Autokaran, Chef; Tara Rajah – Cello; Jane Frankish – Poems on the Megaphone; Mikan Bindu (leader and choreographer) Hiroyoshi Takeda, Shinji Kashima, Hiroyo Yamaguchi, Saki Ito, Emiko Sawada, Yumiko Honda, Shinya Asanuma – SANDOSHAM Indian Movie Dance; Durga Rajah – Photography. For more information please visit: https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/momo

Kaala … More or Less!

kaala look finalThe Koboi had been developing his look after the SUPERSTAR’s image in Kaala (to will be released worldwide on June 7th) for his performance at Courtyard Hiroo, Tokyo at 7 pm on 11th May 2018 I am a fan of Rajinikanth and, as such, I relish the simple pleasure of ‘being’ the Thalaiva. I am, however, also cognizant of the aesthetic and critical connotations of my play.  What is the measure of similitude – how much ‘looking like’ does it take to ‘look like’ or signify another person or persona? What is the threshold of sufficiency? Is such similitude founded on ethnic, even ethnocentric, notions of identity? What is the inner dimension of such a representation? How does one actually form a meaningful image of another? When does homage become piracy? Is this a pastiche or a parody, and if it is a parody – what is it a parody of?  What, is the difference between a popular and a fine art image in the contemporary taxonomy of the arts?

Most pertinently, Kaala may be the last of my easy and heartfelt appropriations of the SUPERSTAR’s image as, having launched into politics in Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth has now placed himself in a different context of signification. Unlike his long-time colleague in the Movie business, and now political co-aspirant, Kamal Haasan, who has clear secular leanings, Rajinikanth’s avowed ‘spiritual politics’ seems to be taking on the pungent saffron hues of Hindutva (the Hindu Right)!.

Image: https://wallpapers.filmibeat.com/tamil/movies/kaala/wallpapers-c5-e42999-p47913.html

https://www.ndtv.com/tamil-nadu-news/at-harvard-kamal-haasan-says-hope-rajinikanths-colour-isnt-saffron-1811209

Baasha meets Kaala!

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Baasha meets Kaala!! Like Godzilla meets King Kong! Well, actually it is Masalawala  meets Koboi Balik Kampung! For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition, at Courtyard Hiroo on 11th May 2018 at 7pm,  I am privileged to be collaborating with Masalawala (Hiroyoshi Takeda) who is an artist, a linguist, a South Indian chef and a renown Rajinikanth fan. With his support the performance will include –

1. An Auto-rickshaw (Signifier for the Film Baasha).

2. Mango Pachadi Dango (a traditional Japanese dumpling form with an Indian filling with the definitive Ayurveda flavours – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent) will be ritually offered to the Momotaro and then to a member of the audience. This symbol in taste (rasa) was conceived by Niranjan Rajah and developed by Masalawala.

3. Indian movie dancing by the SANDOSHAM Dance Team will performance to Oruvan Oruvan Mudhalali  from the film ‘Muthu’,cheoreographed by Mikan Bindu.

Momotaro-san!

momomdiumMomotaro-san arrived in Vancouver today from San Francisco. He will be accompanying Jane, Tara, Durga and myself in May to perform in Tokyo. The Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition performance will take place at 7 pm 11th May 2018 at Courtyard Hiroo, as part of a show titled ‘Home’ in the Expanded Field’. Momotaro-san will be back in Japan in time for  Tango no Sekku (5th May) or ‘Boys Festival’ (now  renamed Kodomo no Hi  or Children’s Day) a day on which he is traditionally celebrated and honoured throughout the land. Momotaro or  ‘Peach Boy’ is known to have been born of a giant peach found by an old and childless. Momotaro grows up and as a youth, he goes off on an adventure to overcome the Oni (ogres) on Onigashima (Ogre Island) and becomes a hero.  Momotaro is, for the Japanese people, a symbol of boyhood, vitality, and valiance. He is also a martial figure.