18 February 2011

Mami Kosemura's Nihonga Moving Paintings (2004-2006)

In the autumn of 2006, I went to see the Nihonga Painting: Six Provacative Artists exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art.  Each artist was indeed provacative in his or her own way, from the horrifically beautiful paintings of Fuyuko Matsui to the crazed doodlings of Shiriagari Kotobuki.  

The installations that made the biggest impact on me were the 'moving paintings' of Mami Kosemura.  At the time, I could only describe my impression of her work but I have since discovered that Kosemura has uploaded low-res samples of her work onto the internet.  Although it is not as impactful to watch these 'moving paintings' via video-streaming as it is to see them in a gallery, it at least gives one an idea of what the  experience was like.  Before watching the videos, read my original post to understand their original context.  These stop motion animated shorts were not simply projected onto bare walls, but were projected onto specific spaces using furnishings that suggest a traditional Japanese house.

For the nature themed installations, Kosemura designed elaborate sets at her studio and shot the film frame-by-frame over a period of months.  For example, to create the third video below from the Flowering Plants of the Four Seasons series, Kosemura set up a 3 meter wide set and using a digital camera  shot a photo every hour for two months.  In the end, she had a total of 1,500 photos which she then edited to give them a painterly look.  This particular animation was projected onto a fusama for the Yokohama exhibition (see sample installation images at top of page).

Comb and Woman in the Mirror are also shot using a similar stop motion technique but  using actors and interior spaces.  These two installations are based on woodblock prints by Hashiguchi Goyo.  In addition to her work as an artist, Kosemura is a scholar of art history and her art is heavily influenced by her academic knowledge.  Read more about Comb and the techniques used in these installations in my review here.  To learn more about the Nihonga exhibition these works were a part of, see the links at the end of this post.

Flowering Plants of the Four Seasons (Shikigusabanazu, 2004-6)
 (3 videos)

Priming Water (Yobimizu, 2006)

Comb (Kushi, 2006)

Woman in the Mirror (Kyōdai no Onna, 2006)

To learn more about Kosemura, check out her homepage.

© Catherine Munroe Hotes 2011
Related Posts:
Nihonga 1: Fujii Rai
Nihonga 2: Matsui Fukuyo
Nihonga 3: Shiriagari Kotobuki
Nihonga 4: Nakamura Kengo
Nihonga 6: Nakagami Kiyoshi