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Japanese art unit wacky, whimsical and very funny

Japanese avant-garde art unit Maywa Denki will soon perform their "concert", "Mechatronica", in Hong Kong for the first time.

The show is not only a live concert but also showing off the instruments, as a "product demonstration". Nonsense mechanics crossover electronics generating an "extraordinary" show, "Mechatronica", will be held at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, October 20 and 21, at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall.

Playing in blue work uniforms, symbolising small-scaled manufacturer during Japan's high growth period, Maywa Denki never uses established instruments in their shows. Instead, their "robotic instruments" are unique and original, in other words, wacky and whimsical. As the instruments have not been examined and mass produced, the fact that they occasionally mal-function also becomes part of the performance. The president of the unit, Nobumichi Tosa, will explain (in English) with his hilarious body movements how the machines work during the performances.

Maywa Denki have three product lines: the "Naki" series - nonsense objects in a fish motif (including the popular fishbone extension chord); "Edelweiss" - arty objects in a flower motif; and "Tsukuba" - acoustic instruments operated by 100V electric current.

Maywa Denki, originally founded by Sakaichi Tosa, operated as a vacuum tube company in 1969 only to suffer through bankruptcy proceedings 10 years later. The name was resurrected in 1993 by Tosa's sons Nobumichi and Masamichi, who invented and developed various products, some of them were unusual musical instruments. The instruments were generally cleverly designed, often fun and a little kooky.

"Mechatronica" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Tickets priced at $160, $130 and $100 are now available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients can have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will be a maximum of 20% off for a group booking. Please see the programme leaflets for details.

Programme enquiries please call 2268 7323 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at .

Ends/Wednesday, August 30, 2006
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