Calum’s Road to Aonodomon

Calum’s Road to Aonodomon


Date(s) - 21/11/2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Brunel Museum

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 Calum F Kerr at the Brunel Museum

Screening 7pm – 10pm 
Live performance 8.30pm
Free Entry – Tickets Eventbrite here

Marc Isambard Brunel’s ‘Thames Tunnel’ built 1825-1843 is the first completed under the River Thames. The Grand Entrance Hall, ‘sinking’ tunnel shaft at the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe will feature the debut screening of Calum F Kerr’s film installation ‘Calum’s Road to Aonodomon (Elements)’ with a related live performance.

The artist looks at feats of personal endeavour by individuals in two very different locations. In September 2015 Calum travelled to ‘Calum’s Road’ on the Isle of Raasay, Inner Hebrides, Scotland and traversed it on his 40th birthday. This 1.5 mile road was mainly constructed by one person, Calum Macloed (1911-1988), a crofter and lighthouse keeper who built the road in order to unify the island in defiance of the Highland council, this took over ten years to complete over inhospitable terrain. Macloed often used a wheelbarrow which can now be seen at the road’s Southern point. The artist has Scottish heritage and was named specifically after Calum Macloed.

In 2017 Calum travelled to ‘Aonodomon’, a 185 metre tunnel cut through the mountainous Yabakei Gorge in Kyushu, Southern Japan. Similarly to in Scotland he recorded the experience through film, sound and actions. The origin of this tunnel became known in Japan through a semi-fictional account by early 20th-Century writer Kan Kikuchi called ‘Beyond the Pale of Vengeance’. In the mid-18th Century villagers were falling to their deaths crossing a mountain pass using dangerous ‘chain bridges’. Far from his birth place in Edo (Modern Tokyo) on the run and in penance for a murder committed in his past, Zenkai became a monk and to help the villagers began chiseling through the mountain alone. This task took thirty years to complete, and although widened, the original tunnel remains. Monk Zenkai’s life span ended only a little before that of Marc Brunel (1769-1849).

Despite their distant cultures the actions of Monk Zenkai and Calum Macloed have much in common; social responsibility; physical repetition; epic timescale; solitary contemplation. ‘Calum’s Road to Aonodomon (Elements)’ concerns the quests of Calum’s Macloed and Monk Zenkai through a 21st century retracing of their footsteps.

The film is in five sections Working: Earth (Tsuchi ) / Running: Water (Mizu)  / Walking: Fire (Hi) / Flying: Wind (Kaze ) Resting: Void (Sora) each relating to the Five Elements philosophy in Japanese Buddhism

Visual essays and project history:

Calum’s Road to Aonodomon (Elements) is dedicated to Graham Robert Kerr (1950 – 2017)

Image credit: Miyuki Kasahara

Eternal thanks to Miyuki Kasahara without whom there would be no journey

Artist Biography: Calum F. Kerr often expresses his concerns through performance, sculpture and sound. His projects developed in relation to specific histories and inhabiting characters such as J. D. Swann (ornithological investigator), Brian Guest (S.P.A.R: Society for the Preservation of Admirable Rubble), the Ghostly White Whale and Maurice the Dodo. Events in 2018 have included Mind Your Head! Art Cabaret, Chutney Preserves Spa, and Liminality (The Unknown) with Flange Zoo. He has featured in numerous UK exhibitions including at the ICA and Tate Britain, and internationally in Bulgaria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the USA. In 2016/17 he received an Arts Council England International Development Fund Award for research in Japan for ‘Calum’s Road to Aonodomon’, this lead to a residency at Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo in May 2018. The project will debut at the Brunel Museum Tunnel shaft, London in November 2018 and will feature in a two-person exhibition with Miyuki Kasahara at Art Lab Akiba, Tokyo in May 2019.

Calum’s Road to Aonodomon