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Archive HAYY


Archive ―HAYY―


Special Interview: Umehara’s interviewing participants on HAYY / 16:9 / digital / 6’12”/ English and Japanese subtitles
Archive on HAYY: Film HAYY -A Self-Taught Musical, mixed media
The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, Japan

* For more information on HAYY


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Trance song and transmigration


Trance Song and Transmigration


16:9 / digital / 2’00” / English / ink on cardboard, paper, fabrics
Alang-Alang House, Bali, Indonesia


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Galungan & Kuningan


Galungan & Kuningan


16:9 / digital / Tokyo University of the Arts Ethno-Art Lab


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Coloured Batik


Hidden Desire


Coloured Batik
Silkscreen printing, mixed media
Galerie Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

* For more information on Hidden Desire (essay)


Mediated landscape

Mediated landscape


Lines of river

Lines of river (left), Nobody knows it (right)


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Homes in Mum-Bay -exhibition view


Homes in Mum-Bay


Silkscreen printing, mixed media
Kunstraum Düsseldorf, Germany


Homes in Mum-Bay -exhibition view2


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Ukifune -Tale of genji 1008


Ukifune —Tale of Genji, 1008


Mixed media
Seewerk, Silber See, Moers, Germany


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Mixed media
Düsseldorf, Germany


Hetero with person


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Gelatin silver print

“Bags” in Pittsburgh, the U.S. is the starting-point of all Umehara’s works. Umehara cast parts of ten artists’ bodies whom she met there, and made ten bags from the cast forms. Each person separately transported the bag from Pittsburg to Japan as passenger. During the transportation she took documentary video works and photos, in which the bags were placed into private space and public space: Buses, the underground, airports, and their securities, beyond various boundaries.

Living and travelling outside Japan as an artist in a different cultural environment to the one she grew up in, Umehara has become interested in the issues of location and dislocation. In 1999, she became fascinated by, for example, airports, which seem to suspend time and space. Flying from one country to another, traveling much faster than the spin of the earth, or even moving against its rotation, the sudden changes on arriving in a new country, have left a strong impression on her and she sees airports as quasi-mysterious places where the paths of people from various countries intersect. An airport, teeming with passengers, each with their own subjective experience of time seems to question the nature of time itself. As a result of her preoccupation and reflection on such issues, she started work on a group of installations which refer to specific architectural elements.


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nüans is an artist collective founded in 2006 by Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann and Maki Umehara.


HAYY -A Self-Taught Musical

2012 - 2015

The “HAYY —Self-Taught Musical” is based on Ibn-Tufail’s novel “Hayy ibn Yaqdhan / The Self-Taught Philosopher” a classic of medieval Islamic philosophy. It ́s the story of Hayy, a boy raised by a doe on an uninhabited tropical island. When the doe passes away, Hayy’s life develops from one of dependency to one of exploration and discovery. He starts by dissecting his mother in order to find out where life comes from. Over the years he grows up to discover the truth about the world and his own place in it, unaided but also unimpeded by society, language, or tradition.

The project provides the framework for several artists’ contributions such as songs, videos, lectures dealing with the idea of island, isolation, self-teaching and survival attitudes. The whole event is related to the artist book “APOGEE —A Compilation of solitude, ecology and recreation” (Revolver Publishing, 2011) edited by the artist collective nüans.

Film by: Alexander Basile, Hugo Schneider, nüans / Choreography: Rita McBride / Music: sub-tle. / With: David-Marlo Conrads, Elke Kania, Karolina Thorwarth, Micheal Maurissens, Bambi, Andy Slemenda, Antje Feger & Benjamin Stumpf, David Bernstein, Carlotta Werner, Christian Wieser, Claudia Barth, Glen Rubsamen, Hiroyuki Masuyama, Hishiko Yamane, Hüseyin Karakaya, Janosch Pugnahi, Joni Waka, Maiko Sugano, Matthis Bacht, Miki Hoei, Naoki Matsushita, Olof Jönsson, Yoshimi Kanbayashi 

* Artist book "HAYY" (excerpt)


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The beloved companion -omniscient


The Beloved Companion

January 2015

«The story of Hayy» in Berlin / Exhibition, symposium With: nüans and collaborators
Vice Versa Distribution, Berlin, Germany


The beloved companion -mother


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Malkasten, HAYY and mother


HAYY —A Self-Taught Musical

June 2014

Performance, exhibition, screening, book launch /
Film by: Alexander Basile, Hugo Schneider, nüans / Choreography: Rita McBride / Music: sub-tle. / Performance: Elke Kania, Micheal Maurissens, Olof Jönsson / Installation: Matthis Bacht / With: David-Marlo Conrads, Karolina Thorwarth, Bambi, Andy Slemenda, Antje Feger & Benjamin Stumpf, David Bernstein, Carlotta Werner, Christian Wieser, Claudia Barth, Glen Rubsamen, Hiroyuki Masuyama, Hishiko Yamane, Hüseyin Karakaya, Janosch Pugnahi, Joni Waka, Maiko Sugano, Miki Hoei, Naoki Matsushita, Yoshimi Kanbayashi 
Künstlerverein Malkasten, Theatre hall, Düsseldorf, Germany


Malkasten, cinema

Malkasten, exhibition view

Malkasten, Installation view


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Spoiler Alert —HAYY Preview

May 2014

Is Cooperation Clique?
Symposium with: Alexander Basile, Carlotta Werner, Hugo Schneider, Elke Kania, Elmar Hermann, Maki Umehara / Moderation: Anna Heidenhain
KLÜNGEL, Leeschenhof, Düsseldorf, Germany


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Spoiler alert, poster


Spoiler Alert —HAYY Preview

May 2014

How Does Knowledge Taste?
Performance and screening With: Omniscient (Elke Kania) and Fans / HAYY Trailor (Alexander Basile) / amüsgöl (Svenja Blanke and nüans)
ARENA c/o Brauerei Kürzer, Düsseldorf, Germany


portrait of omniscient


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The Dog House


Path to Recreation

October 2013

«The story of Hayy» in Tokyo / Performance and screening with:
The Silent Host: sub-tle.
& HAYY: The Turning Fan: Naoki Matsushita
The Curious Soul: Maiko Sugano
Hop, Step & Jump: Miki Hoei, Yoshimi Kanbayashi
The Learning Tongue: nüans (Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann, Maki Umehara)
The Beloved Companion: Bogie
Music: sub-tle. (compose, processing), Naoki Matsushita (shakuhachi)
Costume Design: Hugo Schneider
Film: Alexander Basile, Hugo Schneider
Produced by: A.R.T. / The Dog House
Special Thanks to: Konnoh Hachiman Shrine
Concept and Directed by: nüans
Konnoh Hachiman Shrine, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan


Death of somebody you love; on the one hand this means despair, on the other hand you might find breath of life there. Following the Sicily and Istanbul-Volume, we have finally reached the stage on PATHS TO RECREATION -a Tokyo-Volume of the THE STORY OF HAYY -an interdisciplinary musical series by artist collective nüans. It is hosted by the Dog House in Shibuya that was created by conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth as a symbol of love after the death of Mr. Joni Waka’s dog.

Isolation, survival and self-teaching are topics for our residence at The Dog House, a laboratory to explore recreation and wisdom. In cooperation with Berlin- based musician sub-tle. we present a new moment that focuses on temporary interaction between dance, music and video. Rethinking the origin and future of cultural values in modern society, PATHS TO RECREATION will be produced for a public event at Konnoh Hachimangu Shrine in Shibuya.


Konnoh Hachiman Shrine

HAYY in Tokyo


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The HAYY residency


The HAYY Residency

September 2013

«The story of Hayy» in Istanbul / Artist in residence, exhibition, performance with:
Alexander Basile (Cologne), Andy Slemenda (New York), Antje Feger & Benjamin Stumpf (Hamburg), David Bernstein (Amsterdam), Hüseyin Karakaya (Düsseldorf), Matthis Bacht (Heidelberg), nüans (Istanbul, Düsseldorf, Tokyo)
asansörsüz, Galata, İstanbul, Turkey


The HAYY RESIDENCY unfolds at an isolated location and occupies a specific space for a certain period of time. The residency is a foretaste and a rehearsal of the interdisciplinary musical structure of THE STORY OF HAYY being completed in 2014. It focuses on islands, isolation and self-teaching.

The HAYY RESIDENCY offers the chance to concentrate on the basic conditions of human civilization as well as the role of the individual. The resident artists are encouraged to break out of civilization limits and to think and create beyond structure and responsibility of everyday city life. At the platform you can find traces or the results of the residents‘ learning process and impressions of the same story happened on another island. A project by the artist collective nüans (Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann, Maki Umehara).



HAYY MiSAFiRLiK PROGRAMI, izole edilmiş bir lokasyonda ortaya çıkar ve kısa bir süre için özel bir bölgeyi işgal eder. Rezidans, 2014 yılı içerisinde tamamlanacak olan disiplinlerarası müzikal yapı HAYY‘ın HİKAYESİ‘nin bir ön tadımı ve provasıdır. Adalar, izole olma ve iç öğrenim odaklıdır.

HAYY MiSAFiRLiK PROGRAMI, insan uygarlığının temel koşullarına ve aynı zamanda bireysel role yoğunlaşma şansı sunar. Rezidans sanatçıları, uygarlık sınırlarını aşmak, gündelik şehir hayatının yapısı ve sorumluluklarının ötesinde düşünüp yaratmak için cesaretlendirilir. Bu platformda, başka bir adada gerçekleşen aynı hikayenin konuklar tarafından öğrenim süreçleri ile etkilenimlerinin izlerini ya da sonuçlarını bulabileceksiniz. Sanatçı kolektifi nüans tarafından gerçekleştirilen bir proje (Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann, Maki Umehara).


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HAYY in Sicily, poster


The Story of HAYY

August 2013

«The story of Hayy» in Sicily / Performance with:
Hayy: Bambi, David- Marlo Conrads, Claudia Barth, Christian Wieser
Specialist: Karolina Thorwarth, Glen Rubsamen
Omniscience: Elke Kania
Costumes: Hugo Schneider
Choreography: Rita McBride
Cinematography: Alexander Basile
Concept and directed by: nüans (Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann, Maki Umehara)
Curated by: Massimo Ricciardo,
Special Thanks to: Guardiola Contemporanea di Piraino / Festival La Rincorsa della Lepre
Guardiola Contemporanea Piraino, Sicily, Italy


Guardiola Contemporanea

LA STORIA DI HAYY -Musical sul filosofo autodidatto

La storia di Hayy è un progetto d‘arte collecttivo che gira intorno a temi come isolazione e sapienza. Dopo esibizioni ad Amsterdam e Mumbai, e prima di presentazioni a Istanbul e Tokyo, gli artisti in una settimana di residenza a Piraino hanno creato uno spettacolo di formato speciale. Ⅱ contenuto è stato ispirato dal trattato filosofico “Hayy” di Ibn Tufail.


performance at guardiola


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exhibition view in India


Oar or Ore?

August 2012

«The story of Hayy» in Mumbai / exhibition and book launch with:
CAMP, Hannes Böhringer, hobbypopMuseum, Shruti Mahajan, Raqs Media Collective, Elsa Fanton d´Andon, Géraldine
Longueville, Olav Mackaay, nüans(Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann, Maki Umehara)
Live Music & Performance by: AjalaDhwani (Gandhaar Amin, Amar Kulkarni, Dhir Mody)
Galerie Max Mueller, Goethe Institut Mumbai / Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai, India


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Smart Project Space, poster


APOGEE —The Self-Taught Musical

June 2012

«The story of Hayy» in Amsterdam / Exhibition and book launch (SMART CHAPEL) With: nüans, MARINA, Gamze Özer, Timothee Huguet, Kristina Kramer, Christoph Westermeier, Michael H. Shamberg
The self-taught musical (SMART CINEMA):nüans & Live performances: Elsa Fanton d’Andon, Géraldine Longueville, WJM Kok / Video contributions: Chiqueria, Daniel Devlin, Dina Danish, Guy Ben Ner, Michael H. Shamberg, New Order, Yvonne Rainer / Music: Olav Mackaay
SMART PROJECT SPACE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands


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APOGEE, book launch in Istanbul

Photo: Veronika Helvacioglu


APOGEE —A Compilation of Solitude, Ecology and Recreation

October 2011

Book launch, exhibition, boat trip including songs and stories /
Exhibition with: Agan Harahap, Edwin Stolk, Borga Kantürk, Felicitas Rohden, nüans (Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann, Maki Umehara) / “YLICIS, an Island” a story by: Mark von Schlegell
Cafe recordis -boat recordings by: Borga Kantürk
Hosted by: Kristina Kramer, Patricia Schnurr
Polistar, Istanbul, Turkey


APOGEE, exhibition view in Istanbul


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nuans space

Photo: Kristina Stoyanova



September 2006 - March 2007

Exhibition, screening, lecture, performance, symposium


The first six months of nüans project, an alternative space in Düsseldorf was run by three artists (Anna Heidenhain, Elmar Hermann and Maki Umehara). There we realised group exhibitions with topics and a special side program. The publication “PROP—proud to be a v.i.p.” documents these events and is a starting point for many future program.


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