What's New


Japan at the Edinburgh International Festival



The 2011 Edinburgh International Festival includes a number of highlights from Japan, including the world premiere of Stephen Earnhart and Greg Pierce's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and acclaimed photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto's exhibition Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings.


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
20 - 24 August
King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Supported by the Embassy of the United States of America in London and The Director's Circle


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage and a dramatic revelation of long-buried Second World War secrets.


Toru Okada is an unassuming everyman. His cat has disappeared, a seemingly innocuous event that triggers a series of increasingly bizarre encounters. His wife inexplicably vanishes, leading Toru on a search during which he encounters a strange and compelling cast of characters, each with their own intriguing stories. Crossing the boundary between reality and dreams, these interactions open doors to a hallucinatory world charged with sexuality and violence. As the lines between fantasy and reality dissolve, Toru must confront the dark forces that exist inside him to begin to understand the mystery of his life.


Photo: Stephen Earnhart

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is adapted from the award-winning novel by celebrated writer Haruki Murakami and directed by Stephen Earnhart, formerly Director of Production for Miramax Film. This truly imaginative production combines performance, music, puppetry, dance and film to create a hypnotic theatre of dreams. Inspired by Murakami's visionary style, Earnhart combines elements of live performance, live music, puppetry and choreographed movement with cinematic video and audio technology to create a hypnotic 'theatre of dreams'.


Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings
4 August - 25 September 2011
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 73 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR


Hiroshi Sugimoto is one of the world's leading photographers. This exhibition, consisting entirely of works which are being shown in Europe for the first time, will feature 26 large-scale works from two of Sugimoto's most recent - and visually poetic series - Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings.


The Photogenic Drawings series was inspired by the innovative techniques of the 19th-century photographer, Henry Fox Talbot. Sugimoto has spent several years locating and acquiring Fox Talbot's rare and vulnerable negatives from which to make his own photographs. The small scale of Fox Talbot's work has been greatly enlarged by Sugimoto to reveal images that are haunting, almost painterly in their evocative power.

Photo: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields168 (detail) © the artist

Lightning Fields is a series of dramatic and spectacular photographs produced through the play of violent electrical discharges on photographic film. Sugimoto's large photographs expose in minute detail the remarkable effects of light particles not visible to the human eye. The results offer a fascinating range of interpretations, from powerful lightning strikes to images of weird and wonderful life forms.


Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland, said: "Sugimoto has developed an international reputation for the sheer beauty of his images, which are as thought-provoking as they are technically stunning. We are thrilled to be premiering work from his newest series in Europe, which demonstrates a master at the very top of his game, and are delighted to be working again in partnership with Edinburgh International Festival to bring the very best of contemporary visual art to Scotland."