Bergborg – Announcing presenter
Bergborg has been doing ropes for ten years. He is currently running the rope-studio Kokoro in Stockholm, Sweden, together with his partner sansblague. Bergborg teaches rope in different formats, in several long-term study-groups as well as offering thematic workshops, guided practice and private tuition. Since a couple of years, he is also giving historical lectures at the studio as well as abroad in a format he calls the Kinbaku Salon.
While the main focus is his regular teaching in Stockholm, Bergborg has also taught and lectured for example at EURIX in Berlin, LFRA in London, Shibari Festival in Helsinki, IRW in Utrecht, Kinbaku Lounge in Copenhagen, Laboratorio di Bondage in Torino, Studio 6×6 in Berlin…
On his blog KinbakuBooks, Bergborg shares parts of his collection of historical kinbaku-materials from Japan. The blog also offers a growing number of texts translated from Japanese into English, commissioned by Bergborg. Drawing on their academic background in the humanities, Bergborg and sansblague in 2016 made a series of in-depth interviews with thirteen key persons in the contemporary Kinbaku-scene in Japan. Insights from these interviews have been important for Bergborg’s further historical studies of the field.
At the Prague Shibari Festival, Bergborg is offering three historical lectures, bringing with him rare materials from his archive. Focus of the lectures will be:
- Minomura Kou
- Nureki Chimuo
- Akechi Denki
Learn more about Bergborg here: bergborgkinbaku.wordpress.com/voices-from-participants
Visit Bergborg’s blog with historical Kinbaku-materials here: kinbakubooks.wordpress.com
“In SM, shibari is communication between two people using the medium of rope. It’s a connection made with rope between the hearts of two people.”
These words by Akechi Denki (1940–2005) have become famous – for good reasons. Akechi was a pioneer in several fields – as a creative rope-artist and a master performer. The distinctive style of Akechi, as a crucial inspiration for rope-artists such as Kanna, Osada Steve and Pedro, has had quite some influence on the European rope-scene. Akechi was also the first Japanese rope-artist that came to Europe to perform, in 1998.
Through some texts where Akechi tells about his life, the lecture will trace his itinerary from his childhood and youth in a Japan defined by the war and the post-war sufferings, to his break-through as a rope-performer in the 1980s.
Hit by a heart-attack when he was 19 years old, Akechi was told by the doctor that he would probably not live to see his 30th birthday. He recalls his reaction: “If I lived each day with double intensity, even though I may die when I am 30, it would be the same as dying when I was sixty.”
Drawing on a wealth of materials such as texts and images from old magazines, VHS-tapes and later DVDs, we will examine the development of Akechi’s style and try to understand his outlook. He says: “Sometimes the ropes move on their own and my hands just follow, and that is always an amazing experience. I just disappear. The shibari is always very beautiful when that happens.”
Minomura Kou (1920–1992), also know under his artist name “Kita Reiko”, was one of the real pioneers of Kinbaku. In the early 1950s, Minomura was instrumental in the turn towards SM of the magazine Kitan Club. He had a direct influence for example on Nureki and Yukimura, indirectly clearly also on Naka – and, it could be argued, perhaps on all of us.
He was also the person behind both the tying and the texts in the first Kinbaku photo-book ever published. A key feature of his rope-scenes is an erotic dynamic involving contradictory feelings of embarrassment and enjoyment.
The impact of Nureki Chimuo (1930–2013) on Japanese rope culture is unique. In his role as a writer, he has also been an influential historian of this culture. Writing erotic stories in Kitan Club already in the early 1950s, Nureki grew close to Minomura Kou. As Minomura fell ill in 1980, Nureki took over his tying job for many magazines. Working together with master photographer Sugiura Norio, Nureki created an original aesthetic that has come to be iconic. Nureki was also the central figure of Kinbiken, the “Society for the study of the beauty of bondage”, where Naka Akira discovered rope. Incredibly active long into his old age, Nureki for example wrote a book entitled Kinbaku – for as long as I liveat age 78, and published a small booklet of kinbaku photos even the year of his death, named The Room of the Morning Light.