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 Ikutaro Nishida (1870-1945) and Gen 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.
10.1 (Fri) - 10.24 (Sun)
10:00 - 20:00
Open until 22:00 on 10.1 (Fri).
★ Artist talk on 10.3 (Sun)
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.
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