Thursday 17 October 2019


Japanese artists ASUNA and Hiroaki Umeda are in Northern Ireland this week for this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival.   

Supported by British Council Northern Ireland, the pair are here as part of the festival’s Japan UK-Season of Culture programme, which presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deepen the close bonds between Japan and the UK.

ASUNA, a Tokyo sound artist will play the MAC, Belfast tonight (October 17) until Saturday (October 19). His work uses 100 battery-powered analogue keyboards to create waves of overlapping sound in a quirky, immersive installation. 

A stalwart of Tokyo’s experimental music scene, ASUNA’s playful genre-bending sonic experiments cross from ambient to hip-hop to hardcore punk to low-fi pop and improvisation.

Meanwhile, dancer and choreographer Hiroaki Umeda, brought his avant-garde production 'Median and Accumulated’ to the MAC earlier in the week (October 15 and October 16).  A multisensory experience, the production fused dance, hypnotic sounds and stunning digital visuals into one unforgettable experience. 

Umeda is recognised as one of the leading figures of the Japanese avant-garde art scene. Most often creating solos, he fuses choreographic writing, computer code, sound and visual composition into a form of global language, which enables him to generate new perceptions of space.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s performance, Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland said: “The British Council is delighted to be supporting this year’s festival. The festival once again has succeeded in bringing the best of local and international artists and work to Belfast. 

“This year we are really excited about the international connections the festival is making through the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020, which celebrates connections in culture and education between the UK and Japan. Involvement in this international season will enable local audiences to enjoy art they perhaps might not normally see, and we hope these connections will lead to further opportunities and international interest in the festival.” 

This year’s Belfast International Arts Festival runs until October 31. For full programme information visit or call 02890 246609 to book.

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact: 

Claire McAuley, Communications Manager: T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7542268752 Twitter: @BCouncil_NI, Facebook – 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.