Reconceptualizing Traditions In Japanese Theater

Program type: 
Friday, December 1, 2023 - 5:00pm to Friday, January 26, 2024 - 4:00pm
Naoko Tosa’s New Media Art: Reconceptualizing Traditions In Japanese Theater
Free public opening reception December 1st 6pm and other events starting at 5pm
On-view December 2, 2023 to January 26, 2024
A unique experience awaits visitors to the East Hawai'i Cultural Center’s newest exhibition, “Naoko Tosa’s New Media Art: Reconceptualizing Traditions In Japanese Theater.” The show is a collaboration between EHCC and University of Hawai'i at Hilo Humanities Division and Art Department. The work on view is inspired by traditional Japanese visual and performing arts, including Sansui (ink monochrome painting), Rimpa (decorative painting of the 17th and 18th centuries), Noh (classical theater of the imperial and samurai classes, typically refined and austere) and Kabuki (a more emotive style of drama featuring extravagant costumes, props, and expressiveness).
Artist Naoko Tosa brings these historically resonant traditions to the intersection of art and science. Originally trained as an engineer, Tosa is a pioneer in the field of Cultural Computing, a form of media that encapsulates the creativity of culture, the unconscious, and software. Says Tosa, “I am interested in the relationship between media and the body, in particular between voice and image.”
Tosa’s exploration of this relationship can be seen in “Zeami Noh: Izutsu,” a four-part video installation on view that uses the latest technology to express the sense of impermanence, sadness, joy and compassion that humans feel from the transitions of life. The installation features frenetic dancing and four images displayed using the movements of masked Shite and Ikebana flower arrangements.
That is just one example of the surprising and surreal imagery in the exhibition, which opens on December 1 at 6pm. Accompanying the opening will be a variety of events beginning at 5pm, including performances of Taiko drumming and Koto performance, a modern tea ceremony, and modern ikebana.

This collaborative exhibition between the East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center and the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo was made possible by Kyoto University Disaster Prevention Research Institute - Art Innovation Research Group, McInerny Foundation - Bank of Hawaiʻi, Trustee, and Toppan Inc. Japan.

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