las barcas 音楽とアートの旅を。

In English


las barcas is a loose collective of younger artists, photographers, critical theorists, and creative writers whose works create new conditions of possibility for arts and thoughts in and about Okinawa, Japan, and the world.

las barcas publishes new types of visual images, critical ideas, and dialogues that question the current schema of politics and arts in Okinawa, Japan, and the world at large. We aim to do this by critically calling into question the essentialist, hierarchical constructions of culture and gender while avoiding the dominant binarism of universalism and particularism that at once naturalizes and hierarchizes the figures of nation-state. Instead, las barcas is interested in community that has heretofore not existed, in landscape that cannot be made a property of one person or one group, and in bodies that explore an ethics of sexuality.

Edited and published by its editorial collective based in Naha, Okinawa, las barcas aims to open an egalitarian space where artists, curators, and writers will unlearn the institutional division and work with one another more freely.

Our three volumes have also featured the works of internationally well-known artists and critics including Naoki Sakai (Critical Theory), Ryudai Takano, (Photography), Chihiro Minato (Photography and Criticism), Gozo Yoshimasu (Poetry), and Takao Kawaguchi (Performance Art).

las barcas 1(June 2011) features photography and artwork by Satoko Nema, Chikako Yamashiro, Kaori Nakasone, Yu Shiraki, and Gozo Yoshimasu and contains a dialogue between art curator Yumiko Okada and performance artist Takao Kawaguchi. It also includes critical essays on translation and transnationality by Naoki Sakai, on abstract painter Adaniya Masayoshi by Mayumo Inoue, and on ethics of sexuality by Ikuo Shinjo.

las barcas 2 (December 2012) features photography and artwork by Kiyoko Sakata, Chikako Yamashiro, Kaori Nakasone, Satoko Nema, Ryudai Takano, Ryohei Masuda, and Chihiro Minato. It also includes a dialogue on shadow and politics between Ryudai Takano, a photographer and recipient of the Kimura Award, and Ikuo Shinjo. Critical essays by Mayumo Inoue, Yutaka Yoshida, Kiwako Ogata, and Tetsu Oyakawa and an epistolary exchange between Yumiko Okada (curator) and Haruka Hama (film festival programmer) are also collected therein.

las barcas: An Extra Issue, our latest and full-color issue, has been just published in October, 2014. In addition to the artworks by Nema, Yamashiro, Sakata, and Nakasone, and critical and novelistic contributions from Shinjo, Inoue, and Oyakawa, it contains both photography and essay by Ryudai Takano, and still photographs from Queer Fish Road (Hengyoro), a work-in-progress feature-length film by Go Takamine.

Please send your general comment and purchase inquiry to: lasbarcas2011(at)

Editorial Collective

SATOKO NEMA (born 1974) is a contemporary artist whose works explore multiple mediums including abstract painting, video, photography and photogram, glass sculpture, and silver.
Her past exhibits include “The VOCA 2008: the Vision of Contemporary Art” (The Ueno Royal Museum of Art, 2008), “Flowing, Drifting” (Gallery Atos, 2008), and “ART IS MY LIFE” (Okinawa Prefectural Museum of Art, 2012).Her first book of photography Paradigm is forthcoming from las barcas Publishing in 2015.

CHIKAKO YAMASHIRO (born 1976) is a contemporary artist who has been known for her videos and films, performance artworks, paintings, and sculptures.

She has exhibited her works in “The Woman of the Butcher Shop” (NAM Project 18, Mori Museum of Art, 2012), “Women In-between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012” (2012), “The New Snapshot: Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.9—Radiant Moments” (Tokyo Museum of Photography, 2010), “Yebisu International Festival for Arts and Alternative Visions” (2009, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography), “Okinawa, Prism: 1872-2008” (The National Museum of Modern Art, 2008).

She now also runs her film production company Suijo No Hito (People on the Water) with filmmaker Atsushi Sunagawa.

KIYOKO SAKATA (born 1972) is a contemporary artist who works with installations, video, painting, and poetry.

Her past exhibits include “Nigata Creation” (Nigata Municipal Museum of Art, 2014), “Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012” (2012), and “Okinawa, Prism” (The National Museum of Modern Art, 2008).

She is also a founding member of the art website Compass and runs her own alternative art space KIYOKOSAKATA Studio.HP

KAORI NAKASONE (born 1979) is a photographer and founding editor-in-chief of las barcas.

Her past exhibits of photography include “Hitotsubo Exhibition” (Recruit Ginza, 2006) and “Squint of Okinawa” (Photographers’ Gallery, 2007). She was also an editor of LP, a photography quarterly (2008~2010) and has written essays on photography and film.

YUMIKO OKADA (born 1982) is an independent curator who works in and across Okinawa, Tokyo, and Cuba. She served as the chief manager of Maejima Art Center in Naha (2005~2009) and now runs an art caravan project Cimarcus with Haruka Hama.

She curated “Okinwa Art Action!” (Okinawa Prefectural Museum of Art,2011), “Takao Kawaguchi: A Perfect Life in Okinawa” (Espace Création de Uehara, 2011), and “Cuba Insularidad: Abel Barroso y Sandra Ramos” (Camp Talganie Art Farm, 2013).

HARUKA HAMA is a coordinator for the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) and a staff member of Cinematrix, a film distribution company in Tokyo. At the YIDFF, she curated “Okinawa—Nexus of Borders: Ryukyu Reflections” (2003), “Islands / I Lands—Cinemas in Exile” (2009), and “Islands / I Lands, NOW—Vista de Cuba” (2011).

In addition to being an co-organizer of the art caravan project Cimarcus with Yumiko OKADA, she is also the producer of Go Takamine’s new feature film Queer Fish, which is to be completed in 2015.

Tetsu Oyakawa (born 1973) is a novelist. He currently lives in Naha.

Mayumo Inoue (born 1975) attended UC Berkeley and USC, taught at the University of the Ryukyus (2008-2012), and is now an associate professor of comparative literature and English in the Graduate School of Language and Society at Hitotsubashi University.

Mayumo’s work explores the intersection of literature and film, postcolonial studies, and aesthetic theories (of Nancy, Adorno, Deleuze et al) in the context of imperialisms and their memories in East Asia and Asia/America.

His publications in English include “Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s ‘Phantomnation’: Cinematic Specters and Spectral Collectivity in Dictée and Appatatus.” Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts. Vol. 56, No. 1, 2014.
The link to the essay is here.

Ikuo Shinjo (born 1967) is a professor at the University of the Ryukyus and has been a leading figure in the fields of gender and sexuality studies, Japanese-language literature, and film studies in Japan. Shinjo has published five books to date: Scheming Okinawan Literature: Language, Body, and Memory in Conflict (2003), An Okinawa to Come: A Critique of Okinawa in Representation (2007), Listening to Okinawa (2010),The Touch of Gaze (co-authored with photographer Ryudai Takano), and A Circuit of Wound Called Okinawa (2014).

His essay “The Political Formation of Homoerotics and the Cold War: The Battle of Gazes at and from Okinawa” is translated into English and collected in Transpacific Imaginations: Rethinking Boundary, Culture and Society (eds. Naoki Sakai and Hyon Joo Yoo [Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2012]).

page top