“Mind breaking and astonishing”

Peter Schiering, ZDF.   

The daily reality of an average European citizen is situated in something that could be called a “comfort zone.” No serious lack of anything and high standard of living seems to make people kind of tired and not willing to fight for new perceptions.

On the other side of the world, there are a lot of people working and living outside the comfort zone: suffering from a lack of many things. What can art do about that? Attempt to be the moral consciousness of society? Those times are over since the 70s.

Nowadays, art functions more to irritate people’s minds in terms of giving something for their senses that is not directly understandable but may also be beautiful. At the same time, giving an idea of things that may hurt.

ZENSORS is a performance of different artistic genres that is doing exactly that. There are harsh contrasts of sounds, light and form that are kind of penetrating the viewers.

Different visual and acoustic layers including dance are coming together not for traditional harmony but to show the complexity of today’s reality: to bring a chance for new aesthetic knowledge and perception. It is harsh and rough but in the same time poetic and calm.

The artists are working together coming from different cultural backgrounds but in the same time breaking through the limits of comforting tradition or traditional beauty. All in all, ZENSORS is a performance that gives an idea of the “beyond” the comfort zone of our saturated selves

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“A sensory explosion in Zen-like setting”
Elizabeth Lolarga, Philippine Daily Inquirer

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Benguet, a place that is foggy in memory, was host on August 21 to “Zensors,” a unique exchange that culminated with a performance at the Bencab Museum. Eight artists (Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, Aureus Solito, Diwa De Leon, Chiyo Ogino, Lirio Salvador, Nine Yamamoto-Masson, Shunsuke Francois Nanjo, and Mayumi Okabayashi), representing four countries (Philippines, Japan, France, and Germany), met for three days at the museum after brief introductions in Manila.

Although the culminating performance had the feel of a spontaneous combustion of talents, this multimedia mix of dance, visual arts, film, installation, and music was conceptualized by producer Vanini Belarmino 15 months ago. She challenged the artists to move beyond their comfort zones. The start of the short program seemed traditional with Baguio-based artists Bencab, Rishab, Kawayan de Guia, and Kidlat Tahimik, Jordan Mangosan, and Mark Tandoyog forming a circle as they played individual gongs, none in G-string, all in faded jeans and sneakers that had seen better days.

As the program progressed, the division between one number and the next blurred. A girl in black jeans and shirt led a male partner with a hood of soft clay over his head to two seats at different sites. He clawed the clay, creating narrow grooves. After this, he removed the hood, washed his hands in a pail of water, wiped them dry, and bowed. Things perked up when world music proponent De Leon and Salvador jammed, the former alternately playing an electronic violin and a hegalong, the latter his sandata, a keyboard made out of circuit-bended radio transistor parts, spoons, and other common objects. While they made music, choreographer-dancer Ogino writhed on the cement floor, slid, sprawled, and slithered over and under the hagabi (prestige bench). While this was going on, visual artist Okabayashi, in another side of the L-shaped room, calmly painted fire like shapes on handmade paper, her images projected on the wall.

The other wall showed images from Solito’s films and photos. The evening was a sensory explosion in a Zen-like setting


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