22 October 2019 - 23 Tishri 5780 - כ"ג תשרי ה' אלפים תש"פ
Arts & Culture
Japanese Bikaku-style furniture on display in Israel E-mail

At the Periscope Design Gallery in Tel-Aviv last month, an array of Japanese Bikakustyle pieces were featured, complete with symbolic designs presenting both direct and personal interpretations.

The Bikaku furniture collection, meaning a sense of beauty, was presented under the name Bright Shadows, showcasing the works of two Israeli designers with Japanese roots.

For artists Tal Shermeister and Sia Preminger, metalwork is the medium of choice. They took care not to take too much of it, always leaving traces of the creation process and tool marks visible instead of sanded away.

This unrefined aesthetic lies at the heart of Bikaku, an artistic practice influenced by 12th Century Zen Buddhism, focusing on imperfections as beauty. Core values include reintroducing and repurposing flawed goods, developing them in an aesthetic means known as “Wabi-sabi”.

“I grew up in a very Japanese-style household,” explained Preminger. “If Israeli children are allowed to play with their toys and leave them scattered about, we were always instructed to be mindful and put them in place. It was very important to my mother that we do this.”

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Abu Gosh Music Festival to take place during Sukkot E-mail

The festival, held in the town of Abu Gosh just outside Jerusalem in the Judean hills, has existed in its present format since 1992, and takes place twice a year, on the Jewish festivals of Sukkot (October) and Shavuot (June).

The October Festival will run from 18-21 October. The Festival’s concerts are performed in two churches: the Crusader-Benedictine Church, built in the 12th century and situated in the heart of the village; and the Kiryat Ye’arim Church, situated at the top of the hill, overlooking Abu-Gosh.

Hanna Tzur is the Music Director of the Abu Gosh Festival since 1995, and has served as conductor and musical director of the Ramat-Gan Chamber Choir for 27 years. During Sukkot, the festival will host a cast of international choirs and vocal ensembles that will be performing classic, timeless works from all around the world. Amongst them is a renowned choir from Stuttgart, Germany, a fan-favourite which performs pieces composed by Bruckner, Verdi, Mendelssohn, and Mahler. The soloists of the choir are well-accomplished and known, having performed all around the world.

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Joy of Music Festival 2019 to accompany the Hong Kong International Piano Competition E-mail

Sharing the spotlight at this year’s Joy of Music Festival will be the 5th Hong Kong International Piano Competition (HKIPC) organised by the Chopin Society of Hong Kong, which will run from 7-24 October at the City Hall Concert Hall.

The triennial piano competitions have previously taken place in 2005, 2008, and 2011. The event has now become one of the most demanding and prestigious competitions in the world. The judging panel includes conductors and other well-known musical artists.

Around 44 candidates will perform, which will be whittled down to 15 quarter finalists. Contestants this year include participants from Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, Poland, Australia, South Africa, Austria, and China. There will be two broad categories for the musicians to participate: chamber music or commissioned solo piano piece and concertos.

There will be two groups of six finalists competing in a final concert show between 16-20 October. The first prize winner will receive a 18K gold medal and US$25,000, an album recording contract and a number of performance engagements, including membership of the Club of the First Prize Winners of HKIPC (with one of the benefits, being an invitation to participate every following year in the annual Joy of Music Festival). Second prize is US$15,000 and a silver medal, and third prize US$10,000 and a bronze medal.

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