About YPAM

YPAM (Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting) is a place where professionals from various places of the world who explore the possibility of contemporary performing arts exchange through performance and meeting programs to gain information, inspiration and network for the creation, dissemination and vitalization of the performing arts. Established in 1995 as Tokyo Performing Arts Market and moved in 2011 to the “Creative City” Yokohama. Reinforced its focus on Asia and started to involve itself in Asian co-production in 2015. Having survived for more than 25 years, the event has become internationally recognized as one of the most influential performing arts platforms in Asia. Except programs that are specifically designed for professional purposes, most of the event is accessible to non-professional audiences.

Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting 2022 (YPAM2022)

Period: December 1–18, 2021
Main Venues: Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT), BankART KAIKO, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No.1, The Cantonese Club, Amazon club and other venues
Organized by Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting Executive Committee (Kanagawa Arts Foundation; Yokohama Arts Foundation; Japan Center, Pacific Basin Arts Communication)
Co-organized by the Culture and Tourism Bureau, City of Yokohama and the Association of Public Theaters and Halls in Japan
Supported by The Saison Foundation
Cooperated by BankART1929, Koganecho Area Management Center, YOKOHAMA CHINATOWN DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
Endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Kanagawa Prefecture and The Japan Foundation
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Goverment of Japan, Fiscal Year 2022

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Messages from the Organizers

Kazumi Tamamura

Kazumi Tamamura

Kanagawa Arts Foundation

We are pleased to announce that “YPAM – Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting” will be held again this year in Yokohama, having changed its name from “TPAM – Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama” last year. Once again, we would like to express our deepest appreciation for the efforts of the many people who support this event.

This year’s “YPAM Direction” will feature many contemporary works, including the world premiere of «Jasmine Town» by Yang Zhen, which explores how Chinese identities and local identities coexist through collaboration with families from various backgrounds living in Chinatowns around the world.

We will offer all the facilities of the Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT) as a venue for this event and provide maximum support for the artists’ creativity as one of the organizers of YPAM.

While the new coronavirus infection is still not under control, we sincerely hope that this event, which continues to pursue the possibilities of the performing arts, will provide a space for new encounters and exchanges between the local community and art and culture.

Seiichi Kondo

Seiichi Kondo

Yokohama Arts Foundation

The performing arts have been severely affected by the new coronavirus infection. I would like to express my gratitude to YPAM for hosting the second edition of the event with the new title in the midst of this situation.

Although YPAM started out in the Corona disaster, we have attempted to increase recognition of Yokohama as a dissemination center for the performing arts and to further expand involvement and understanding of the performing arts in the community by introducing a new management system and opening the Fringe Center.

We are also working on reinforcement of cooperation with the community, corporations and related organizations through international co-production involving local residents and cultivation of unique venues for YPAM Fringe. We look forward to the various social benefits that will result from the crossover between YPAM’s international platform and the local community.

Eleven years since YPAM moved to Yokohama, we hope that various exchanges and encounters will spread and enrich the local community on the new stage of YPAM.

Hiromi Maruoka
Photo by Hideto Maezawa

Hiromi Maruoka

Japan Center,
Pacific Basin Arts Communication
Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting

YPAM (Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting) is a platform for people engaged in the creation, dissemination, and international exchange of performative, executional and participatory types of arts such as the theatre, dance, or performance, which are loosely defined by the term “performing arts,” as well as for general performing arts fans. Launched in Tokyo in 1995 as TPAM and held in Yokohama since 2011, it has established international recognition as a performing arts platform that attracts many professionals from Japan and abroad.

Just prior to the declaration of the pandemic in March 2020, TPAM2020 gathered 476 performing arts professionals from 44 foreign countries/regions and 486 from Japan. TPAM2021 (February) and YPAM2021 (December) were held with borders almost completely sealed, but we were able to present «Fukushima Trilogy» and «Wandering Love: Jo-Ha-Kyu» trilogy that touch the root of the meaning of performing and watching live performances, and TPAM/YPAM Fringe had many registrations of live performances. With the expected lifting of most of the restrictions on entry into Japan this October, we expect that we will once again be able to welcome international participants.

Meanwhile, online communication tools that have rapidly evolved and spread during this period have made real/virtual hybrid exchanges the norm. As I write this, I am participating in “PAMS – Seoul Performing Arts Market,” and I am witnessing the very site where an international exchange event is being reconstructed on the premise of hybridity. I feel the irreversibility of this trend. Like other platforms, YPAM interprets this trend positively, and while inheriting TPAM’s achievements, we are seeking a new structure as a platform that connects the local and the global.

YPAM2022 is based on three pillars: YPAM Direction, an official performance program; YPAM Exchange, an exchange program for professionals consisting of various meetings; and YPAM Fringe, an open-call festival that anyone can take part in. YPAM Joint Program in special cooperation with arts and culture organization of Yokohama and overseas is added to them.

The former TPAM Direction introduced works selected by several guest directors and the YPAM secretariat in each year’s context, especially with a focus on Southeast Asia since 2016. Having changed from TPAM to YPAM, we have added another dimension — international dissemination of projects that are elaborated in Yokohama — to this program.

«Jasmine Town» by Yang Zhen (China), commissioned by YPAM, is a project to research and create works about the various identities that coexist in Chinatowns around the world, starting with Yokohama Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in East Asia. We had a work-in-progress showing to introduce the project in YPAM2021, and the work will have its world premiere at YPAM2022 after research and creation in Yokohama this summer and fall. Four overseas cities have already joined the international co-production of this work. «A Notional History» by Five Arts Centre (Malaysia) is a completed version of a work commissioned by TPAM in 2018, the year of the first regime change in Malaysian history, and presented as a work in progress in 2019. It has already been performed in Belgium and Malaysia this year, and is scheduled to be performed in Thailand in the future, making it an example of how a work was completed across the pandemic. Japanese artist collective OLTA’s «Nippon Ideology (tentative)», commissioned by YPAM following «Jasmine Town», will be presented as a work in progress this year, with the completed version to be presented next year.

The opening show, «LUNA» by Bulareyaung Dance Company (Taiwan), is a dance work based on the singing and rituals of Taiwan’s indigenous Bunun tribe. The choreographer and many of the dancers are from other indigenous tribes, and the exploration of identity is not nostalgic as the Japanese word for “indigenous” that includes a Chinese character “before” implies (for this reason, the Taiwanese word uses a character that means “original” instead), but strongly contemporary. The invitation of this work was made possible through the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture (Taiwan), Taiwan Cultural Center and National Culture and Arts Foundation, with whom we have had an ongoing partnership since TPAM. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to them.

YPAM Exchange will hold its meeting programs and symposia at the Cantonese Club in Yokohama Chinatown. 2022 is a diplomatic and historical milestone year for Japan, China, and Taiwan. Although it is a coincidence that YPAM focuses on the idea of “Chinese” for the first time in this year in Yokohama, where Chinatown embraces the lives and memories of those who were tossed about and influenced by the history, we hope that these programs will lead to a contemporary reflection on diverse realities.

Amazon Club, the Late Night Meeting Point that was the favorite of TPAM participants through 2020, where exchange and discussion continued until midnight every night, has happily survived the pandemic and reopened for business at its new location. We look forward to seeing you again “at Amazon.”

We have been focusing our efforts on YPAM Fringe since last year to establish it as a long-lasting performing arts festival that supports free expression of live performance. We have limited its venues to Yokohama and Kanagawa and opened a new “YPAM Fringe Center” in Hatsune-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama City. Business has already started. Please feel free to drop by. Drinks are served. We are also working on new initiatives including the distribution of a booklet with information on registered performances, an open call for proposals for using unique venues, and the launch of a preparatory committee for a membership-based support organization “YPAM Fringe Society (tentative name).”

Details of the YPAM Joint Program in special cooperation with arts and culture organizations of Yokohama and overseas are on the website of YPAM2022. I am particularly glad to be able to resume the introduction of works from the performing arts platform in Montreal CINARS.

Last but not least, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those involved for their new cooperation in terms of planning, spaces, and funding, and above all, to the participants.


Event Outlines in the Past