The UK and European premiere of Japanese film maker Katsuya Nonaka’s skateboard and shakuhachi documentary ‘Future is Primitive’ will take place at London’s House of Vans on 9th September, with a second showing following at London Doomed Gallery on 13th September.

Director Nonaka’s unusual 50 minute film examines the common ground between skateboarding and shakuhachi playing! Nonaka himself is both a skateboarder and shakuhachi player. Indeed he will also be making his London live debut at IKLECTIK on 11th September, where he will be performing in a duo with German cellist Ute Kanngiesser!

In ‘Future is Primitive’, Nonaka talks to leading skaters from all around the world, as well as Japanese and non-Japanese players of the traditional bamboo flute, the shakuhachi. In the course of his dialogues he discovers some common ground between these two seemingly very different activities: namely the outside commercial pressures both are now encountering due to a combination of prestige and rising popularity. Regarding the shakuhachi, for example, a new version is being manufactured which is easier to play alongside Western orchestral instruments. Re: skateboarding, it has just been confirmed that it will be recognised as a sport in 2020’s Tokyo Olympics.

Anticipating its changing status, director Katsuya Nonaka’s film asks how will growing acceptance signalled by its official recognition as an Olympic sport affect skateboarding’s original status as a street activity? Similarly, will new forms of shakuhachi retuned for Western ears ultimately be at the expense of its defining tonal character? This is not a film about Japan, UK or the USA, adds Nonaka. It is about “our future”.

For more information on this special project, please click here.

Are you hyped to see Skateboarding in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? Have you already visited House of Vans in London? Share  your thoughts in the comments below!