A Welshman, an Englishman and a Canadian go to a bar. They’re joined by an American, four guys from New Zealand called Sam, two Thai women, three Frenchmen and some well-dressed Russian chefs. No punchline, just a sample of Creative Community’s 482 eclectic and diverse attendees who came to celebrate some of Fukuoka’s finest international talent on Nov. 8 at JR Hakata City’s Kyushu Hall, above Hakata Station in Fukuoka.
Creative Community was centered about the works of six international artists who are residents of Fukuoka City. Several pieces of each artists’ work were exhibited with the artists present to talk about their work.
The first of these artists was Antoinette Gupton, an American who finds inspiration in her vivid dreams and nightmares. Her work is completely unplanned and is allowed to unfold ‘as they will’ to mirror the dreams from which they are inspired.
Fellow American Bill Long has an impressive history of TV animation, working on shows such as Beavis and Butthead and on stations such as Nickelodeon and MTV animation. His artwork has an environmental message and through it he seeks to inspire viewers to protect the natural world in all its beauty.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Arnaud Tuduri specialised in polar photography. Catching up with him during the show, he expressed his interests in urban landscapes in particular the contrast with nature, which often form the center pieces of his work.
Paul Matthews and Lucy May Schofield both hail from the UK. Matthew’s art is based on hand drawn sketches which are then digitally rendered while Schofield creates art which is both visceral and tactile; her work is as much in the textures of the piece, part sculpture, part drawing. For Matthews this was the first time his art had been exhibited in Japan and he expressed his excitement at the positive reaction his pieces generated though admitted it hadn’t been to ‘everyone’s taste’.
Last but not least, from Norway, Martine Strøm Thomassen exhibited a collection of oil paintings inspired by the Arctic landscapes and flora and fauna of her home country. She describes her art as a combination of naturalistic and abstract styles, creating a fairytale effect intended to bring viewers feelings of peace and harmony.
Alongside the artists was a wide variety of stage acts, from freestyle tricksters The Samurai Ballers to the smooth grooves of Fukuoka Joe, a six piece Jazz band, who were accompanied on stage by live painter extraordinaire, Toshiaki Tashiro. How could we forget the presence of compère for the night MC Sebo who’s boundless enthusiasm carried the night in English, Japanese and even the occasional French ‘Allo Allo’.
Next, the food, which drew the crowds into the venue nose first. Stalls serving cuisine from Mexico, Russia, Thailand and Japan sold delicious food throughout the night. Favourite amongst these were the Daimyo-style Kebabs which were filled to the brim with chicken and packed quite a punch. The Thai green curry was deliciously coconutty and suitably piquant while the Russian stall’s chicken stroganoff and borscht were a hearty bowl sized feast. Drinks were provided throughout the night by some of Fukuoka’s best local establishments, Three Kings, Fubar, Uprising, and Echo who each served a mixture of their own house specials and fine cocktails.
But Creative Community was not just a celebration of creative talent, its secondary aim was to actually create community. It brought together the international community under one roof, giving them the opportunity to meet or re-meet each other and to explore the community’s diversity. People happily chatted over their food throughout the night and, as DJ SamTroy took over the stage a party atmosphere emerged as everyone got up to dance and join the festivities until the early hours.
If you didn’t manage to make it to Creative Community, Fukuoka Now’s next international party will be held the city’s biggest Valentine party set for Friday, Feb. 13, 2015!
Check out photos from the night here and soon we’ll post a video too!