performances

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations

¡Sí Cuba! SoCal

title, Alex Harris

What is “¡Sí Cuba! SoCal,” you ask? Well, it all started in New York this spring with a multi-venue festival celebrating Cuban culture, called ¡Sí Cuba!. Then, coincidentally, several cultural institutions across Southern California, including we here at the Getty,… More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum

Festival a Family Affair at the Getty Center

family_affair

Early-morning showers and threatening clouds didn’t keep families from coming to our most recent Family Festival, a celebration of Chinese, Indian, and Japanese culture. More than 7,600 kids and parents attended the festivities that took place throughout the Getty Center…. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Mixing Afghan Rhythms at Sounds of L.A.

Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan. From left:

Just 48 hours before he was pounding percussion onstage at the Getty Center this past weekend, one of the creators of Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan (S.A.R.A.) was teaching tabla drumming at a music school in Kabul. But the Afghan-American… More»

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Posted in Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Did You Dance? Saturdays Off the 405 Season Finale Plus Bonus Playlist!

Tina (foreground) on bass in gold and pigtails, with vocalists, and Chris on drums in the background

We really turned it up this year at Saturdays Off the 405 with an eclectic mix of the best and brightest new music—including a season finale on October 9 with New Wave favorite the Tom Tom Club, doing totally live… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Video: “Elektra” Director and Cast on Working in the Villa’s Outdoor Theater

elektra

What is it like to perform Greek tragedy in an outdoor theater setting? The director, the composer and musical director, and cast members of the sold-out new production of Sophocles’ Elektra—which premieres tonight at the Getty Villa—gave us their take… More»

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Posted in Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Mayer Hawthorne’s Big Love

Mayer Hawthorne, dancers, and The Getty Museum

With heart-shaped LPs and fizzy mint juleps in hand, energetic fans welcomed Mayer Hawthorne and the County’s dazzling retro-crooning act on June 12 at our second outdoor concert of the summer. It was a stylish show. Mayer set the fashion bar… More»

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Posted in Getty Center

Selected Shorts: Story Meets Storyteller

Isaiah Sheffer and Leonard Nimoy on stage at the Getty Center

It’s one thing to see a writer read her own work, but when someone else gets their hands on it, the fluid dynamic between story and storyteller is revealed. How much is the reader outside of the story, telling it… More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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