The program of recent experimental animated films by students and graduates of the Concept and Media Planning at the Kyoto University of Arts was curated by Professor Yoshimasa Ishibashi, an artist and a lecturer at the University, as part of CZYNNIK LUDZKI/HUMAN ASPECT WRO 2019 Biennale.
It features films which embody cutting-edge approaches to abstraction, thereby building on the theme of human memory. Arranged in two parts, the program addresses universal themes which resonate with every human being, such as individual and collective memory, the role of myth, memories and their deformation over time, and family relationships. Vivid and pictorial, the works exemplify the diversity of abstraction-underpinned contemporary animations, which represent an array of generic trends, ranging from classic animation, to computer animation and collage, to syntheses of computer graphics and live cinematic images.
The show with the guest attendance of Setsuko Kawahara was organized in collaboration with the Kyoto City University of Arts and is yet another Japanese highlight of the WRO 2019 Biennale. Special thanks to EU-Japan Fest Committee for supporting the event.
19.09.2019 / Thu / 5 pm
Yuriko Sasaoka, Icarus’s Bride, 2015-2016 (7’42”)
Risako Matsumoto, Bright Narkissos, 2019 (11’00”)
Saaya Kaneko, I Have Loved Some and Hated Others, 2017 (7’35”)
Saki Suwahara, Bottled Hell, 2019 (about 10’00”)
TRT: 36 min.
20.09.2019 / Fri / 5 pm
Yuriko Sasaoka, Hello Holy!, 2017 (6’00”)
Saho Nanjo, Flower of Eden, 2019 (about 8’00”)
Setsuka Kawahara, Louisa and The Town of Iberis, 2019 (about 7’00”)
Kosuke Katakura, Anthem of NARAKU, 2018 (about 15’00”)
Alina Zhdanova, Favoritka, 2015 (5’35”)
TRT: 41 min.
In her animation Icarus’s Bride, Yuriko Sasaoka explores similarities of video art and oil painting. Her method of combining sequences of images of human body parts with shots of fragments of doll bodies which are manipulated on the stage brings to mind the old school of special effects. The story is told not only by the dolls, as the narrative is also sustained by the early 20th-century poem Hana-yome Ningyo, the artist’s own texts and the tune she composed herself.
In Hello Holy!, Sasaoka’s other work, the characters use an incomprehensible, fictional language invented by Sasaoka, who in this way inquires how far the video image as such can stir the viewer’s imagination.
In Bottled Hell, Saki Suwahara delves into the fear of losing memories of her mother. A similar theme of parental absence, though with the father as the missing figure, is tackled by Saho Nanjo in The Flower of Eden. By evoking the symbol of a red hibiscus, it conjures up memories of various emotional states which accompany the experience of being abandoned.
I Have Loved Some and Hated Others by Saaya Kaneko is an animation that tells about memories of places which are systematically transforming as a result of natural processes or human interference. Louisa and the Town of Iberis by Setsuko Kawahara stirs nostalgia with its vivid story about growing up, dreams and utopian representations of the future in a large city, while The Anthem of Naraku by Kosuke Katakura dwells on the disappointment with the future. Its protagonist, Naraku, who sells lottery tickets to children, only offers them disenchantment, that is, “true hope.” Katakura examines differences between hope and a speculative reality which people can experience. In her Favoritka, Alina Zhdanova employs heterogeneous materials and techniques to express her experiences, memories, and physical bodiliness. Her work combines feminist reflection with insights into human existence. For its part, Bright Nakrissos by Risako Matsumoto looks into the search for and preservation of one’s own identity, choices made under social pressure, and the price one has to pay for self-acceptance.