Yuya Tsukahara + contact Gonzo — watching you surf on beautiful accidents


Dance, performance

Yuya Tsukahara + contact Gonzo
watching you surf on beautiful accidents

Past: January 29 → March 28, 2020

To close its “Transphère” cycle — which has given pride of place to contemporary Japanese creation since 2016 — the Maison de la Culture du Japon in Paris is presenting, from 29 January to 28 March, 2020, “watching you surf on beautiful accidents”, the first exhibition in France of contact Gonzo, a collective from Osaka founded by Yuya Tsukahara whose performances are characterized by harsh physical contact, suggesting street fights and at times, choreography.


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Vue de l’exposition © Gaëlle Cloarec

Created by Yuya Tsukahara in 2006, contact Gonzo transgresses the codes of contemporary dance with nonchalance, just as Hunter S. Thompson, pioneer of gonzo journalism, rejected the conventions of the written press. The collective quickly stood out by broadcasting videos of its performances on YouTube in the most diverse places: public spaces, parks, galleries, museums, etc.

Simple, raw and resolutely amateurish photos and videos are still an integral part of contact Gonzo’s work today.

“watching you surf on beautiful accidents” unveils for the first time in France the original journey of this agitator of the Japanese art scene, popular with both the performing arts and contemporary art.

Composed of two parts, the exhibition will present several videos that will allow viewers to discover the radicality and freshness of contact Gonzo performances where the influence of Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Butoh dance may be perceived. Yuya Tsukahara, co-founder and current member of the collective, also designed an installation made up in particular of conveyor belts, a metaphor for the speed of urban life.

Curator: Aomi Okabe, artistic director of the Transphère cycle


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Vue de l’exposition © Gaëlle Cloarec

Yuya Tsukahara (contact Gonzo co-founder) Born in Kyoto in 1979, Yuya Tsukahara grew up in Osaka. Despite his passion for football, he entered Kwansei Gakuin University where he did research on Butoh dance. At the same time, he worked at the Dance Box, a performance hall renowned for its contemporary dance programme. There he discovered the astonishing improvisations of the dancer Masaru Kakio with whom he founded contact Gonzo in 2006. Inspired in particular by Systema, a Russian martial art close to aikido, they together developed a style of improvised physical contacts where fluid movements are accompanied by blows and slaps. Videos of these performances performed in parks or streets were presented on YouTube. Joined by Keigo Mikajiri, in 2007 Tsukahara and Kakio won the Osaka Performing Arts Messe “720award@pamo” Grand Prize. As part of a project organized by the Osaka Contemporary Art Centre, they went the following year to Helsinki, Nanjing, Seoul and Okinawa, then presented the MINIMA MORALIA project comprised of performance videos made during this trip, along with photos and installations. Noted for its innovative and radical conception of dance, contact Gonzo has been invited to several international events: 3rd Nanjing Triennial (China, 2008), Aichi Triennale 2010, Performing Histories: Live Artworks Examining the Past at MoMA in New York in 2013, etc.


Contact gonzo vue de lexposition 4 medium
Vue de l’exposition © Gaëlle Cloarec

“The body is truly marked on a daily basis by small or large accidents, it undergoes them and sometimes it manages to master them as a surfer masters a wave on his board, by applying mechanical rules."

Yuya Tsukahara

  • Yuya Tsukahara + contact Gonzo — Performance de contact Gonzo & rencontre avec Yuya Tsukahara et Fabrice Hyber Opening Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 6 PM

    Grande salle (niveau -3)
    Entrée libre sur réservation
    18h-18h30 > performance
    18h45-20h > rencontre animée par Aomi Okabe (commissaire de l’exposition)

  • Yuya Tsukahara + contact Gonzo — Performance de contact Gonzo Performance Wednesday, January 29, 2020 7 PM → 7:30 PM

    Grande salle (niveau -3)
    Entrée libre sur réservation

  • Yuya Tsukahara + contact Gonzo — minima moralia — un film de contact Gonzo Screening Friday, February 28, 2020 at 7 PM

    Petite salle (rez-de-chaussée)
    Entrée libre sur réservation

15 Paris 15 Zoom in 15 Paris 15 Zoom out

101 bis, quai Branly

75015 Paris

T. 01 44 37 95 01



Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 8 PM

Admission fee

Free entrance for this event

The artists

  • Yuya Tsukahara
  • contact Gonzo