We have assembled an evening designed to call forth the spirits and in suggesting what a spiritual connection can be. We open our exchange with the striking performance of Japanese drumming group Arashi Daiko. Following will be the screening of two shorts and one feature length film, all silent and shown alongside a live score composed specifically for this showing. By following contemporary and historical modes of composition and improvisation, our musicians will be working off of the visual score of the films.
The two silent films from Japan both experienced bouts of being lost in history. A Page of Madness (1926) was lost for 45 years until its rediscovery in Kinugasa’s storehouse in 1971. The edition we are left with today is missing nearly a third of the original. Tojin Okichi itself is a fragment, with only 4 minutes on the record. Paired with a contemporary work on Vietnamese dance called Hau Dong Ca, we put into play ideas of what is lost and reconstructed, how we create new art forms through musical composition, and resting on the originality of all that we consider a spiritual consultation.
PROGRAMMER Hera Chan
Hau Dong Ca is a collaborative video project with Crazy Monkey, and takes its name after the song of a ceremony. In Vietnam, medium ship remains a popular practice to enable the livings communicate with deceased loved one or to ask the spirits for wealth or protection of their family. When the spirit occupies a medium, he or she often dances freely in the ritual music. The background music in this work is a mix of ritual music and popular music in Vietnam. The artists re-performed a medium ceremony and used Depth tool kit and kinetic as another type of medium to seek substance of the cultural phenomena digitally.
Nguyen Hong Ngoc (Nau) (b.1989 in Thai Nguyen city, Vietnam) graduated at Vietnamese art history and criticism department of Vietnam Fine Art University. Ngoc Nau’s notable exhibitions include: Siggraph Asia 2015, Kobe, Japan; Spring Watching Pavilion, Void Gallery, Northern Ireland; Art Together With The Town, Koganecho Bazaar, Japan; Art Stage Singapore 2015, Singapore
Tojin Okichi is a fragment of a work by Kenji Mizoguchi that has survived to this day. It recounts the story of US Commodore Perry’s arrival in Japan, marking the beginning of another era of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States in 1853. Based on a novel by Gisaburo Juichiya, Mizoguchi’s films often show the self-sacrifice of women and the limits of acceptable forms of expression. Marking a turn in his work though is the story of Okichi, a geisha promised to an American diplomat, who begins to question the morality of man and society at large.
In striving to overcame current modes of filmic realism, an avant-garde group of artists called Shinkankakuha (School of New Perceptions) facilitated the creation of this film by Teinosuke Kinugasa. A Page of Madness takes place in an asylum, the film follows the story of the janitor of the asylum, whose wife is a patient of. Her daughter arrives to tell her about her engagement, sparking a strange and frantic stitching together of familial history and presentness.