Out/In Aka” is solo performance drawing upon Mitsu Salmon’s grandmother Takoko’s history of fleeing to the countryside after WW2 in Japan as connected to her own life. The piece interweaves sound, voice, Butoh, sculpture and fractured narratives. The soundscape for the piece was made in collaboration with sound artists Simon Briggs. The work will explore how personal and family memories connect and collide, how ancestors are held and expressed in the body and the healing qualities of nature.
This work was created as part of the 2016/17 LinkUP Residents
February 24 – February 26, 2017
LinkUP is Links Hall's six month residency program supporting Chicago based independent artists and collaboratives in the research, development and presentation of new innovative work in movement based arts.
This piece was created while an artist in resident at Ox bow Fall 2015. Interacting with outdoor found sculpture, I create a choreography based upon my grandmother's experience of being exiled to the countryside in Japan after WW2. The film plays with ideas of mirroring, vulnerability, and memory. It has been shown at Chicago Filmakers and Columbia College as part of a screening about work made at Oxbow.
Echoes of Botany
Echoes of Botany Presented at the Madou Triennalle
Echoes of Botany is a site-specific sound and movement performance that reflects on the trees, plants, and architecture of Tsung Yeh. The work is created by Mitsu Salmon and Milad Mozari in collaboration with five eclectic local performers. In response to late 19th-century human-driven migrations of plants both in Taiwan and North America, the work responds to the attempts and failures of "tropical paradise" created during the industrial age. The piece roves around the Chief's house, which was the family residence of the Meiji sugar cane factory chief in Madou during the Japanese colonial period. The work confronts ideas around native, imported and exported plants, speaking to the transports of plants as connected to the movement of culture, commerce, ideas, and diaspora. Sound, technology, voice, dance, and audience interaction are interwoven to investigate these plants and humans role as connected to the layered history of Madou. Performers engage with their environment and architecture, fluctuating between being plants and human. Through three tableaux, the performers speak to human relationship to plants in linking the growth, cataloging, and travel of plants as connected to bodies and history of the various spaces.
Echoes of Botany
This video is documentation of a solo rehearsal. The piece, Echoes of Botany is a site-responsive group dance work. This rehearsal shares my solo within the piece as well as elements of later group choreography. The movements stem from my research of plants such as the embodying of the blossoming of flowers, the reaching up towards the light and the spreading of roots. The piece also interacts with the architecture of a former Japanese colonial building in Taiwan and its melancholic history of occupation.
While there we conducted open rehearsal, a workshop, created video and performance work called “Anatomical Characters and Identification of Formosan Wood”.
The piece draws from the materials, sounds, and structure of the Chief’s house in connection to Salmon’s family history. The Chief’s House was the family residence of the Meiji sugar cane factory chief in Madou during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. Concurrently, Ryozo Kanehira, Salmon’s grandfather and well-known botanist from Japan did extensive work in Taiwan identifying and writing on trees that can be found at Tsung-Yeh Artist Village. The majority of his writings can be found in the book “Anatomical Characters and Identification of Formosan Wood.” The performance’s source material comes from this book and informs Mozari and Salmon’s research sound and dance work. Salmon create choreography from Kanehira’s book, looking at growth patterns and rooting and how it is situated in the body. Mozari investigates the sonic possibilities in terms of absorption and reflection of the space and the surrounding environment. The piece aims to honor the beauty of the space but also question its past through Salmon’s family history and Mozari’s interest in historical preservation.
Dance work created in Tsung Yeh about connecting with the trees about which my great grandfather wrote.
Open Rehearsals 5.4.2017 (Tsung-Yeh Artist Village)
360 of our open rehearsal. So if on your computer, use a mouse to move it where you want to view or if on your phone just move your phone.
Every Wednesday and Thursday for the month of May we have open rehearsals from 10-1pm. We are improvising, discussing, re-doing and all in the view of people coming to just see the historic chief’s house and sometimes us.
Tsuchi is a solo interdisciplinary performance piece. It draws from Mitsu's great- grandfather’s experience of immigrating from Japan to Hawaii as a farmer and then pursuing his dream of becoming a high-end waiter. The piece delves into and obscures his life and then branches out to the stories of Mitsu's, the Hawaiian queen and a steel guitar musician. The work explores questions of family and travels through Butoh, contemporary dance, and everyday movements with music and text. The work is a collaboration between Mitsu and sound artists Alyssa Moxley, Kevin Carey and Mike Hero. Development of Tsuchi was sponsored by High Concept Labs and supported by a residency at the Chicago Cultural Center and Oxbow.
"Relating aspects of her heritage and cultural identity channeled Proust-like through her recent experience working as a server in a sushi restaurant and combining space-composition techniques that incorporate unusual interactions, including balancing a pineapple on her head as she moves, for instance, or baptismally dousing her head with alcohol as a statement of immersion. Simultaneously moving, informative and at times heart-wrenching, the ambitious scale of Salmon’s work continues to impress." - Newcity
This piece has been presented in various forms and works in progress. Each performance is unique and connected to the space and theme of the event.
2018 Iowa University as part of Midwest Nexus Touring Grant in a split bill with Michael Sakamoto
2017 Trade Routes at Links Hall as part of Midwest Nexus Touring Grant in a split bill with Michael Sakamoto
2016 Asquared Asian American Performance Festival at Links Hall, Chicago
2016 Echo at the Studebaker Theater, Chicago
2015 Primary Care at Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago
2015 Residency Culmination for High Concept Labs, Chicago
2015 Residency Culmination for the Chicago Cultural Center
2015 Post-Butoh Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center
Tsuchi performed at the Studebaker Theater May 29th, 2016 As part of the event Echo produced by In/habit, Milad Mozari and Studebaker Theater Filmed by Jane Jeradi
Highways is an evening length piece which incorporates storytelling, vocals, movement and drawing with live sound by artist Kevin Carey. The piece addresses themes around travel, family and grief as well as explores philosophical ideas around time and place.
Presented at the IMPACT PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL at the School for the Art Institute of Chicago, April 2014.
Addressing time travel, Salmon interlaces reflections on the passing of her family and friends with the living effort to be present in actual time and space. The attention moves from now to then, from here to there, as Salmon sings lamenting ballads, and marks a territory across the wall with her hands, feet and pastels. The performance is transported through Salmon’s encircling leaps and jabs with Carey’s beats and warping accompaniment. Highways is a reassertion of mourning that rouses our perceptions of personal and collective locations—the living and the lived.
All three images are an extension of the Wash Painting series. The first two images were created with and performed with Keijaun Thomas. They were inspired by Danish bathtub paintings such as Gabrielle d'Estrées and one of her sisters. The later two were heavily influenced by the work of Gutai artists (post Japan World War 2 action paintings/performance).
They were shot by and made in collaboration with Manuel Vason at Mana Contemporary. They were then presented at and performed with at Defibrillator Performance Gallery as part of Rapid Pulse June 2014.
Fish Dreams is a multi-disciplinary performance exploring mapping and naming through text, painting, objects and the body. Taken from my travels to Germany, Japan and Bali the piece looks at the flawed and nuanced memory of place and language.
As part of Actual Fictions on March 2012, Chicago.
Stroud Valley Artspace
As part of John Street Social Club on June 2013, Stroud, UK.
My name is Mitsu like Mitsubishi, like the car or the TV. Or meat soup without the P. Or meet Sue like you meet Sue at the train station.
Mnemonic devices are tools for memory retention. By showing something clearly one hopes that it will be remembered and included in others understanding of the world. But by seeking to simplify what do we exclude and alter?
Maps assert authority and certainty for something that is subjective and in flux. I change the direction of my mapping so that it encompasses the floor and my feet the walls. Hands no longer mark but rather my feet as in walking, traveling. By showing my personal relationship to the map and the failure of my memory of place, I seek to create a counter map as an instrument of personal archival.
The Wash Paintings Series serves as both a personal ritual as well as a dialogue with regionally and topically specifics histories of paintings.
While making a mess, I am also cleaning the mess. The two actions become simultaneous.
The work draws from the images and actions of daily rituals, traditional Danish painting, Gutai and dance.
While living in Bali, I witnessed and participated in many rituals where water was used to cleanse, release and transform. I then began to wash many of my paintings as a way to let go of the outcome of the work and as a spiritual practice.
Last year a close friend of mine, Vanessa passed away and I began washing my painting, as connected to an action of letting go and a way to commune with her.
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Filmed and collaboration with Chen Chen Yu
Collaborations with Ryotaro
Structured improvisations with midi-accordionist Ryotaro Sudo
Performed new pieces at the performance/art space Urbanguild, Kyoto from 2009. Also toured in the USA and Europe.
Music by accordionist Ryotaro.
Fish dreams and other tales. The piece takes place in a magical sushi restaurant where the dishes cause emotional and metaphysical responses from customers and workers alike. 2009 Nashi no Katashi Gallery Kyoto, Japan 2009 Urban Guild Kyoto, Japan 2009 Pan Asian Repertory Theater New York 2009 Loophole Berlin, Germany
Burning. The piece explores sexuality, creation and destruction. An offbeat Japanese school girl sings of setting fire to buildings as she lays eggs. 2009 Urban Guild Kyoto, Japan 2009 Good Bye Blue Mondays New York 2009 Dresden Friedstaldt Dresden, Germany
Island- A multi-displinary piece about the loneliness and the longing for human connection 2010 Coba's Accordion Bellows Night Kobe, Japan 2010 Urban Guild Kyoto, Japan
Based on The Setting Sun 斜陽, Shayō a Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai. Published in 1947 and set in Japan after World War II. The story's principal characters are Kazuko, her brother Naoji, and their elderly mother. It deals with family crisis and times of transition. The novel heavily uses symbols both for the emotional situation of the characters and that of Japan's upheaval. For example in this segment the snake represents that of transformation and the egg of a new beginning.
Setting Sun- Part 2
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Based on the The Setting Sun 斜陽, Shayō a Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai.
Ima Tenko and Kiraza
Member of the Butoh dance company Ima Tenko and Kiraza from 2008-2010 in Kyoto, Japan.
Photos are of the piece Catch the Carp at Kaburenjo, Kyoto 2009.
Videos are excerpts of the piece Peacock Boat at Kaburenjo, Kyoto 2009
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Peacockboat- Pomengrate goddess dance
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A dance/music piece with ecstatic accordion playing, dancing and voice about rain, longing and love. Made in collaboration with Ryotaro Sudo.
Performed outdoors at Kawabata River, Kyoto 2008
Photos by Hajime Okashi 大越 はじめ
Performed and toured:
2008 Yaso Kyoto, Japan
2008 Urban Guild Kyoto, Japan
2009 Starr Space, New York
2009 The Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles
2009 Bizarre Cafe Paris, France
Mitsu Salmon & ryotaro gig at UrBANGUILD Kyoto 2008/10/30 vol1
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Mitsu Salmon & ryotaro gig at UrBANGUILD Kyoto 2008/10/30 vol3