Resurrecting wartime voices through VR and 3D animation
Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen has been creating video works and theatrical performances based on historical and philosophical texts and materials. In recent years, his interests have expanded to World War II-era Japan, a key influence in Southeast Asia’s modern and contemporary history. His latest work on the topic is a video and VR installation about the Kyoto School (a group of intellectuals formed around Kitaro Nishida (1870-1945) and Hajime Tanabe (1885-1962) at the Kyoto Imperial University). Created in collaboration with Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (an art center that explores artistic expressions utilizing technology), the project will build on its previous exhibition at YCAM with this presentation in Kyoto, a location crucial to the work’s theme.
At the end of November 1941, shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor, four philosophers met for a roundtable discussion at a Japanese restaurant in Kyoto’s Higashiyama. In Voice of Void, this talk is revisited and analyzed, along with related contemporary texts and testimonies. Although some have come to criticize the Kyoto School for their ideological support of the Pacific War, here there is neither a simplification of history nor a condemnation of their theories. Combining 3D animation and anime aesthetics through VR technology, the work invites the audience to identify with the characters while they bear witness to the reenactment of history. Founded in the late 19th century, early Meiji era, and renovated in 1931, the venue is a former elementary school, guaranteed to be the perfect theatrical device for conjuring voices from the past.
★ Artist talk on 10.3 (Sun)
Video Projection: Japanese with English surtitles
VR: Japanese and English
Age limit and other information:
• Audiences aged 12 and under cannot be admitted to the VR experience.
• The VR experience can be booked in advance (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, time limit per session).
• Please note visitors can be admitted to the VR experience without an advanced booking (in this case, visitors will be issued with a numbered ticket).
• The VR experience time may be shortened during busy periods.
• On October 16th (Sat) and 17th (Sun) between 13:00-15:00 and 17:00-19:00 the VR experience is closed due to Nagara Wada & yang02‛s Couvade performance. The rest of the exhibition is available to view as usual.
Ho Tzu Nyen
Ho Tzu Nyen makes films, installations and theatrical performances that often begin as engagements with historical and philosophical texts and artifacts. His recent works are populated by metamorphic figures such as the weretiger (One or Several Tigers, 2017), the triple agent (The Nameless, 2015) and the traitor (The Mysterious Lai Teck, 2018) under the rubric of The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia, an ongoing umbrella project which uses the fuzzy outlines of the heterogeneous and contradictory region as a generator of narratives.
Artistic Direction: Ho Tzu Nyen
Text: Ho Tzu Nyen and Tomoyuki Arai
Voices: Uichiro Fueda (Uichiro Fueda Drama Office), Akira Takayama
(Port B), Yudai Kamisato (Okazaki Art Theatre), Masahiro Oishi
(mamagoto / NYLON100 ℃ / Switch Research Institute), Jun Tsutsui (dracom), Agito, Yuma Tsurumai, Koichi Murakami, Yabuki
Curator: Kazuhiko Yoshizaki (YCAM)
Dramaturge and Translation: Tomoyuki Arai
Assistant Dramaturge and Translation: Miho Tsujii
Technical Direction: Richi Owaki (YCAM)
Production Management: Clarence Ng (YCAM)
Spatial Sound Design: Katsuhiro Chiba
VR Device System and 2D Animation Production: Junji Nakaue (YCAM) VR System Design: Shoya Dozono (Qosmo), Ryosuke Nakajima (Qosmo) 3D Modeling: Masaki Toriyabe
CG VFX Production: Ryo Kanda
Character Design: Takuya Sugimoto
Voice Recording: Kohsuke Nakamura
Graphic Design: Tezzo Suzuki
Curatorial Assistance: Leonhard Bartolomeus (YCAM)
Production Support: Stephanie Goh, Yap Seok Hui (ARTFACTORY) Artist Technical Consultant: Andy Lim (ARTFACTORY)
Artist Assistant: Johann Yamin
Curator of Frequency of Tradition: Kim Hyunjin (KADIST)
Produced by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
Co-produced by Frequency of Tradition, KADIST Three-year Program across Asia, and TPAM – Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama
Presented by Kyoto Experiment
Participating program in Nuit Blanche KYOTO 2021