Sunrise: Radiant Stories, A Conversation with Erika Kobayashi


Sunrise: Radiant Stories, A Conversation with Erika Kobayashi,

brian bergstrom and rika hiro





Rising writer and artist Erika Kobayashi, rapidly gaining popularity in Japan, will visit JFLA on Fri Oct. 27th to discuss and celebrate the U.S. publication of her novel, Sunrise. The event will feature a conversation between author Erika Kobayashi, Translator Brian Bergstrom, and LACMA's Japanese Art Curator Rika Hiro. The talk will explore Kobayashi's work from a variety of perspectives, including her thoughts on the book, the translation process, and the relationship between art and literature. In addition to the stimulating discussion, this event will also feature a media art exhibition created by Kobayashi as well as a book signing. Sunrise is available for purchase on-site.  This will be a rare opportunity to learn more about one of Japan's most exciting new voices, so please join us for this special event!


About speakers:

Erika Kobayashi

Erika Kobayashi was born in 1978 in Tokyo, Japan. She currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Kobayashi creates works that are inspired by things invisible to the eye: time and history, family and memory, and the traces left in places. Kobayashi’s first to be translated into English novel Trinity, Trinity, Trinity, translated by Brian Bergstrom, published by Astra House won the 2022-2023 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prizes (JUSFC) for the Translation of Japanese Literature. She was short listed for the 27th Mishima Yukio Award and the 151st Akutagawa Award in 2014 for her novel, Madame Curie to chōshoku o (Breakfast with Madame Curie) published by Shūeisha. Her other publications include the graphic novel Hikari no kodomo 1.2.3 LUMINOUS (Children of Light: Luminous), which traces the history of the radiation.

Along with her literary work, she has presented installation pieces as an artist both in Japan and internationally that enable viewers to re-experience various scenes from her writings in which the elements of fiction and documentary drift between personal narrative and social reality.

Kobayashi’s selected exhibitions include His Last Bow, Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, London (2019); 1F in the Forest of Wild Birds, Yutaka Kikutake Gallery, Tokyo (2019); She waited, Image Narratives: Literature in Japanese Contemporary Art, The National Art Center, Tokyo (2019); Sunrise, Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); and Half-Life, The Radiants, Bortolami Gallery, New York (2015).


Brian Bergstrom

Brian is a lecturer and translator currently based in Montréal after living in Chicago, Kyoto, and Yokohama. After graduate school at University of Chicago and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, he has worked over ten years in the East Asian Studies Department at McGill University and has published academically in the peer-reviewed journals Mechademia, positions: asia critique, and Japan Forum on Japanese literature and contemporary society.

As a translator, Brian has worked in a variety of fields for over 20 years. He specializes in literary translation, many times working closely with living authors. His published translations include the collection We, the Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino (PM Press), which was longlisted for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award, the short story “See” by Erika Kobayashi, which was the first runner-up in Asymptote’s Close Approximations Translated Fiction Contest in 2017, and The Shining Sea by Koji Suzuki, bestselling author of the Ring novels.

His translation of Erika Kobayashi's novel Trinity, Trinity, Trinity was published by Astra House in 2022 and won the 2022-2023 Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature, and his translation of Kobayashi's collection Sunrise: Radiant Stories is forthcoming in 2023, also from Astra House.

Other translations of his have appeared in venues including Granta, Aperture, LitHub, Rikka Zine, CrimeReads, Queer: LGBTQ Writing from Ancient Times to Yesterday (Head of Zeus, 2021), and The Art and Craft of Asian Stories (Bloomsbury, 2021).


Rika Hiro

Rika Hiro, Ph.D., is an associate curator of Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Her expertise is in modern and contemporary Japanese art and transpacific exchanges in art and design. She co-founded the non-profit art space Art2102 of Los Angeles and co-curated Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan 1950-1970 and Radical Communication: Japanese Video Art, 1968-1988 at the Getty Research Institute. Her publications include "Bruce Yonemoto: Made in Occupied Japan" in Review of Japanese Culture and Society 32 (2020), "Jam & Butter: Paper Gallery: Mori’s Form, Artists’ Magazines, toward a Site for West Coast-Kansai Exchanges” in The Bulletin of Graphic Culture Research Grants (forthcoming), and “Transposing the Undocumented: Nihonjin no Kiroku/Records of the Japanese (1959)” in Transposed Memory: Visual Sites of National Recollection in Twentieth and Twenty-first Century East Asia (BRILL, forthcoming).







This program is co-organized with The Yanai Initiative and Astra Publishing House

Event Details:

  • Date Oct 27 , 2023
  • Hours 7 pm
  • Venue 5700 Wilshire Blvd., #100 Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • Admission Free, registration required.
  • Inquiries

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