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Travels in a Paper Coat

Travels in a Paper Coat is a multi-media exhibition inspired by Matsuo Bashō’s famous travelogue The Narrow Road to The Deep North. Combining film shot directly on location in the ‘wild north’ of Japan by Nikolai Azariah, with paintings, sculpture and installation by artist Isao Miura, also poetry by Chris Beckett – visitors will be taken on an interpretive journey from Bashō’s 17th century text into contemporary visual images.

Basho wrote that he set off on his long risky journey to the wild north of Japan, "with just my body and a paper coat...". This exhibition, the third in a series put on by Miura and Beckett, uses film shot in Japan by Nik Azariah projected onto a "temple" installation of Japanese wood and paper, also Miura's oil paintings and bronzes, a "Haiku Creek", and a Paper Coat died the colour of persimmon juice. 

The most influential poet of Japan, father of haiku, Bashō travelled like an itinerant Buddhist monk with “just my body and a paper coat”, frequently breaking down in tears at the beauty and pathos of what he saw. The Paper Coat, which Miura has made from Japanese Shiramine paper and painted with persimmon, not only represents a practical garment, it is also a symbol of lightness, simplicity and fragility. Bashō’s purpose was to see and be inspired by the landmarks written about by his favourite poets of the past, a sort of pilgrimage called Uta Makura in Japanese. In the same way, this exhibition and the associated Walks will explore our relationship with nature’s beauty and power, also the enduring legends and history that inhabit the places where we live. Participants on the Walks will be encouraged to write or sketch along the way, and selected work will be displayed in the gallery as an ongoing part of the exhibition.
During the Private View on Thursday 28 June, 6-9pm, Miura will transform himself into Basho and read from his work. Refreshments will be available. All welcome.
Dates and times
various | until Sun 15 Jul 2018
APT Gallery
6 Creekside
SW16 1NU