Japan Foundation Bangkok


“A race began in the woods. The whole place was full of animals. I tried to establish order.”

Franz Kafka, Dearest Father






OCT 26-DEC 15 / Bangkok and Chiang Mai




  Rose Hotel
[Venue] Rose Hotel Room 502, Room 501, and Rooftop
[Date&Time] Thursday 7th November, 2019 – Tuesday 10th December, 2019
12.00 – 18.00 (Wednesday to Sunday)
[Participants] 47(for the opening)166 (in total)
[Media Coverage]
N:\2 AC Dept\01 Arts and Cultural Projects\FY2019\201910 Unfolding Kafka\8. Report\NewsArticles


  Goethe Institut, Bangkok
[Venue] Goethe Saal, Goethe-Institut, Bangkok
[Date&Time] Saturday 16th November, 2019 / 13.00-16.00
[Participants] Around 30 per day
[Media Coverage]
N:\2 AC Dept\01 Arts and Cultural Projects\FY2019\201910 Unfolding Kafka\8. Report\NewsArticles
[Venue] Goethe Saal, Goethe-Institut, Bangkok
[Date&Time] Sunday 17th November, 2019 / 13.00-14.00
[Participants] Around 30 per day
[Media Coverage]
N:\2 AC Dept\01 Arts and Cultural Projects\FY2019\201910 Unfolding Kafka\8. Report\NewsArticles


  MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
[Venue] MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai
[Date&Time] Saturday 26th October, 2019 / 13.00-16.00
[Participants] Around 40 per screening
[Media Coverage]
N:\2 AC Dept\01 Arts and Cultural Projects\FY2019\201910 Unfolding Kafka\8. Report\NewsArticles


Unfolding Kafka Festival had served as a platform for a worldwide appeal in outstanding contemporary art since 2015. Our 3rd edition digged into the wild side of Kafka’s animal and crossbreed characters to release them from the ordered world. The grotesque universe of Kafka blurs the line between human and non-human by allowing us to reflect on the otherness through humanized creatures. Similarly, artists had inspired by the animal aesthetic and movements to mirror our own existential dilemmas. Furthermore, since the environment affects our perception, the festival encouraged you to appreciate various intensive, moving and learning art experiences in encounter with unusual atmosphere, through unexpected tangible or conceptual layers to question the relationship between the subject’s gaze and the object in the same way humans looked at animals in a zoo differs from observing them in the wild. Thus, Jitti’s latest project “KAFKA ZOO” proposed you a unique landscape of conceptual works with a strong visual and an untamed wilderness to create a dialogue about societal issues like identity and gender through animalism and daring points of view.


As a part of this festival, the Japan Foundation, Bangkok proudly presented video and art installation of Atsuko Nakamura and the two Japanese films; The Trial (2018) by John Williams and Shinpan (The Trial) (1975) by Shuji Terayama was held at three venues in two locations:


In Bangkok,
  • Rose Hotel,
  • Thursday 7th November, 2019 – Sunday 15th December, 2019 from 12:00 – 18:00 (Wednesday to Sunday) at Room 502, Room 501, and Rooftop.
  • Goethe Institute
  • Saturday 16th November, 2019 from 13:00-16:00 at Goethe Saal
  • Sunday 17th November, 2019 from 13:00-14:00 at Goethe Saal
In Chiang Mai,
  • MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
  • Saturday 26th October, 2019 from 13:00-16:00


Atsuko Nakamura


Venue: Rose Hotel Bangkok


“Arbitrary Notion”

(2013, UK/Video installation)


“One day, I found ants living in my house: some 30 ants all over the bin and cabinet. I instantly began killing them. I killed more and more every day, but ants never die off. Suddenly, I realized what a terrible thing I was doing! If I had noticed those ants outside, I would have thought they were cute and I would never have considered killing them all. But as they entered my territory, I subconsciously labeled them as harmful intruders and set out to destroy them. I was shocked by my own cruelty and wondered about the arbitrary actions that human beings are capable of both throughout history and in today’s society. So this video serves as a record of humanity’s – and my own – arbitrary notions.”


(2015, Taiwan/Video installation)

“Invasion” is about an identity being threatened by an invader. Nakamura made a video co-operated by ants as a human-like society, and the story is about her as an outsider suddenly intruding in the line of ants, building walls and countries, and forcing them to follow her.

“Jigami Sound of Vitality”

(2005, Japan/Art installation)

Nakamura’s installation reflects the notion of Japanese animism through her interpretation at the Rose Hotel. The massive volume of driftwood spilling from the hotel rooms into the Atrium will provoke you to rethink the relationship with nature in the urban environment.

“A metamorphosis of a man”

(2019, Art installation)

Found on the streets of Thailand are trees that were once worshipped. The color-faded “pha samsii” (ผ้าสามสี) wrapped around the tree has been swallowed into it along with its growth and has become a part of the tree. That scene reminded me of tales by Franz Kafka and the characters like Gregor and Red Peter. To live in a society, we sometimes require to compromise ourselves between our true nature and the reasoning. We try to maintain the balance while suffering from agony, conflict, and pain. In most cases, these struggles are not shown in public but rather happening in a private domain like the hotel room. It is happening inside one’s mind quietly and secretly.

About Atsuko Nakamura


Born in Ishikawa in 1982. After studying architecture at Musashino Art University and Japanese flower arrangement, she completed a master degree in sculpture at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Focusing on the relationship between humans and nature, using materials such as driftwoods, salt, and water and phenomena such as wave and temperature to express the energy inherent in the place and its memory and the transcending time from the past to the future, she combines those things consciously as “Parts that I made” and “Parts that nature made”, and intervene them into space and become apparent. Explore physical and mental connections with nature through physical dialogue.

Solo Exhibitions:

The Border of Conscious and Unconscious, Kanazawa ARTGUMMI (Kanazawa, Japan)

The Pulsating Earth, Gallery LA CAJA BLANCA, (Palma de Mallorca, Spain)


Selected Group Exhibitions:

Setouchi Triennale 2019 (Kagawa, Japan)

On the verge of fiction, Kuandu Museum of Fine Art

(Taipei, Taiwan)

MOT Satellite 2017 -Connecting Scapes-

The Contemporary Art Museum of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)

Monologue Dialogue 4: Mysticism & Insecurity,

The Koppel Project (London, UK)

Monologue Dialogue 3 (curated by Andrew Stahl) (Bangkok, Thai)


“The Trial”
(2018, Japan/Film & Talk)

John Williams

Goethe Saal, Goethe-Institut Thailand
/ NOV 16 at 13:00

MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
/ OCT 26 at 13:00

Talk with Directors

Goethe Saal, Goethe-Institut Thailand
/ NOV 16 at 15.00


Franz Kafka’s classic novel is reset in contemporary Tokyo. Welsh/Japanese director John Williams transposes Kafka’s tale of paranoia, guilt and existential anxiety to modern day Japan. The project grew out of an actor’s workshop, which was performed as a play in 2015, then shot as a film with a completely different script in 2017, and completed in early 2018. A darkly comic mystery meets the absurdist satire of Japanese bureaucracy. Kafka’s novel is perhaps more valid today than it ever was. In the so-called “post-truth” age the story of a man who wakes to find himself under arrest for an unspecified crime has a new resonance. The film preserves Kafka’s more universal existential themes, whilst also satirizing Japanese bureaucracy and political drift to the right. The film stars in Tsutomu Niwa, who has worked with Williams before on two films and a raft of outstanding new talent, as well as well-known faces, such as Toru Shinagawa and Choei Takahashi. Kabuki actor Yajuro Bando makes a guest appearance in his first film role for 11 years.

About John Williams


John Williams is originally from Wales but has lived in Japan since 1988. He began making films on 8mm in Nagoya in the nineties, shot his first feature film in Nagoya, “Midnight Spin” in 1994, then wrote and directed his first theatrically released feature film, Firefly Dreams, which was released in 2001. This was followed by Starfish Hotel (Koichi Sato, Kimura Tae, and Kiki) in 2007, Sado Tempest in 2013 and The Trial. All of his films have won Best Feature awards at international film festivals. He is also a film producer and a Film Production’s teacher at Sophia University.

“Shinpan (The Trial)”
(1975, Japan/Film)

Shuji Terayama

Goethe Saal, Goethe-Institut Thailand
/ NOV 17 at 13:00

MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
/ OCT 26 at 15:00

Talk with Directors

Goethe Saal, Goethe-Institut Thailand
/ NOV 16 at 15.00


The Trial (1975) begins with a man hammering nails into a city street before normal social order collapses and the ‘disturbance’ spreads to an act of violent audience participation. Terayama made this work for projection on a specially constructed screen and provides white leader at the end as an invitation for audience members to abandon their position as spectators and take possession of their own energies, hammering nails into the surface of the image. Questions were an important part of the work of Shūji Terayama whose striking creative work exists in a liminal space between fact and imagination. Terayama’s career recalls a fairy tale of Japanese folklore in which a face shifts to become a different face. An acclaimed filmmaker, poet, radio and stage dramatist, essayist, photographer and horse racing tipster (with no less than eight volumes of commentary to his name), Terayama was, in the words of theatre critic Akihiko Senda, ‘the eternal avant-garde’. Terayama always made work that was interrelated, often producingvisionary and unexpected outcomes in whatever his chosen form.

About Shuji Terayama

Shuji Terayama was born in 1935 in Hirosaki City, Aomori. Throughout his lifetime he established himself as a polymath, working across a variety of mediums, including film, theatre, literature, a stint as a sports announcer and poetry — the medium in which he first made his name writing surrealist versions of traditional Japanese tanka. In 1967 he formed the experimental theatre troupe Tenjo Sajiki, which became known for its provocative, erotic and political productions, remaining active until Terayama’s death in 1983. He also simultaneously established a progressive cinema and gallery space, going on to make his first major film, a subversive short entitled “The Emperor Tomato Ketchup” in 1971. “The Emperor” shocked audiences for its audacious storyline involving a group of children That same year, he made his first feature-length film “Throw Away Your Books, Let’s Go into the Streets”, a metaphorical meditation on Japan’s growing materialism. Such films lend obvious comparisons to the work of Ren Hang, as both artists sought to challenge authority and overthrow convention in radical and boundary-pushing ways.

Photos of Unfolding Kafka Festival in Chiang Mai

26th October 2019







Photos of Unfolding Kafka Festival at Rose Hotel

Opening day on 7th November 2019










Photos of Unfolding Kafka Festival at Goethe-Institut

Talk session after the screening 16th November 2019




Photos of Unfolding Kafka Festival at Goethe-Institut

Talk session after the screening 17th November 2019




Co-organized by the Japan Foundation, Bangkok and Unfolding Kafka Festival 2019