City as Nature Festival

In 2019, I directed an international arts festival featuring interactive, place-based art, workshops, concerts, walks, talks, and storytelling events. Taking place at multiple locations in Osaka’s “Kitakagaya Creative Village,” the City as Nature Festival aimed at cultivating our awareness of urban environmental landscapes. At the core of the festival was a question: how can humanity live, together with this earth instead of against it?

The works here represent nearly every living generation, with participants ranging in age from 5 to 89 years. Their voices consider both human consequences and those of our non-human brothers and sisters – plant, animal, fungi, bacterial – with whom we share this perilous position, as living beings struggling to find our proper place within a living, rapidly changing, earth.

Japanese flutist Miyu Hironaga gives a performance during the festival

The festival hosted the Japan premiere of “Signaling Water: Multi-Species Migration and Displacement” an international, community-engaged exhibition by American artists Robin Lasser and Marguerite Perret. In addition, we curated a cast of additional thirty creative practitioners from seven countries. They joined over eight-hundred festival attendees to uncover moments and places where humans and our cities are intertwined with the rest of nature.

Further groups of volunteer teachers, community leaders, and academics helped connect the exhibition with the community by co-hosting various public events and workshops.

Exhibition Dates & Locations

11–22 October 2019
Osaka, Japan

Chidori Bunka — Main Exhibition Hall
The Branch — Satellite Event Space
Co-Op Kitakagaya — Public Workshops
Creative Center Namura — Public Procession

Festival Catalog

A limited-edition festival catalog is available from City as Nature



Festival Production Team

Organizing Committee
Patrick M. Lydon, USA / festival director
Robin Lasser, USA / lead artist
Harumi Ikegame, Japan / art curator
Suhee Kang, Korea / music curator

Guest Artists
Carmen Bouyer, France
gwai., Japan
Cathy Hao, Taiwan
Masahiro Kawanaka, Japan
Dooha Kim, Korea
Kayco Kirie, Japan
Yulia Kovanova, Russia / UK
Alicia Bay Laurel, USA
Heeyoung Park, Korea / France
Yuki Tsukiyama, Japan
Takuma Uematsu, Japan

Flag Artists
Soyo Asaka, Japan
Jeongran Choi, Korea
Pittore Felice, Japan
Cathy Hao, Taiwan
K. Kough, Japan
Hiro Miyahara, Japan
Miho Okada, Japan
Karen Tsugawa, USA
Hirofumi Uchihara, Japan
Takuma Uematsu, Japan
Ayumi Yamazato, Japan

Bomnunbyeol, Korea
Chan Kim, Korea
Ine Kim, Korea
Miyu Hironaga, Japan
Alicia Bay Laurel, USA

Support Staff

talk & live co-production: Yukawa Nakayasu & Qenji Yoshida
workshop co-production: Yukino Hanamoto (Pittore Felice)
pageant co-production: Yasutaka Kaneda
facility coordination: Kotaro Konishi
coordination: Aoi Kisaka
design intern: Pattarapol Leemeechoke
curatorial interns: Karen Tsugawa, Annie Woo
workshop production assistants: Michaela Conley, Emma Johns, Shelby Reich, Sarina Smith, Catherine Tew

Local Partners

AIR Osaka hostel
Chidori Bunka
Coop Kitakagaya
NPO Good Luck
TRA-TRAVEL Osaka Art Hub

Financial and In-Kind Support

Production: City as Nature and The Branch Osaka
Co-Production & Development Support: The Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures (FRIEC) at The Nature of Cities
In-Kind Support: Chishima Foundaton for Creative Osaka